Help Keep Stormwater Clean

There are things we can do at home to reduce stormwater pollution in the region

Waste Disposal and Spills

  1. Never dispose of oils, pesticides, or other chemicals onto driveways, roadways or storm drains. The next rain will carry it into surface water or help it soak into groundwater.
  2. Report polluters and spills.
  3. Storm drain marking with "ONLY RAIN DOWN THE DRAIN" message.
  4. For more information about household hazardous waste disposal options, check out the King County Hazardous Waste Management website.  


  1. Consider replacing impervious surfaces like sidewalks, decks, and driveways around your home with more pervious materials or methods like mulch, turf block, pervious concrete or clean stone. 
  2. Review your home for stormwater handling. If your gutters, downspouts, driveways, or decks directly discharge into a water body, retrofit them by redirecting the runoff onto grassy areas or installing berm/swale systems. Make sure that you are not causing a problem for a neighbor or to your own house.
  3. Collect stormwater runoff in closed rain barrels and use if for yard and garden watering.  

Car Care

  1. Make sure your automobile isn't leaking fluids.
  2. When possible use a commercial car washing facility.

Yard and Garden Care

  1. Practice natural yard care to reduce the use of hazardous products while saving time, water, money, and helping to preserve the environment.
  2. Instead of cleaning walkways with a hose, sweep up grass clippings, leaves, twigs and put them into a yard waste container or compost pile. Sweep up dirt and put it back into the garden. This way, you won't accidentally wash debris into a storm drain or waterway, and you'll save water.
  3. Choose plants and trees that resist pests and disease. Certain flowering cherry trees are resistant to brown rot. Some roses are resistant to aphids and mildew. Certain rhododendrons are resistant to root weevils and are drought tolerant. Nurseries can help you in making choices. 
  4. Avoid using weed and feed products. Applying this product to your entire lawn is overkill for weed control. Pull weeds by hand or with tools. If you decide to use a weed killer, wear gloves, spot spray just the weed, and spray when it isn't windy or when rain isn't predicted. Never use pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides near streams, lakes, or wetlands.
  5. Avoid using Diazinon, often used to treat crane flies in lawns. This pesticide has also been found in our streams, and the Environmental Protection Agency is phasing it out because of the potential health risk to children.
  6. If you have an irrigation system, make sure it is in good working order and limit its use to actual watering needs.
  7. Collect stormwater runoff in closed rain barrels and use if for yard and garden watering (see above).
  8. Retain native vegetation along waterfronts to prevent erosion and help stop heavy rain sheet flow.

Pet Waste

  1. Practice proper pet waste disposal.  A day's waste from one large dog can contain 7.8 billion fecal coliform bacteria.
  2. When walking: bag it.  Bring plastic bags with you when you walk your dog.  Use a bag to pick up the dog waste.  Tie bag closed and place in trash.
  3. At home: trash it.  Double bag dog waste or kitty litter.  Tie securely and place in garbage.
  4. At home option:  flush it.  If you are on a sewer system (not septic) flush dog or cat waste down the toilet.  Kitty litter should not be flushed because it can clog your toilet or pipes.
  5. Tips for bagging it:  keep a supply of bags near your dog leash.  Reuse old newspaper, bread, or sandwich bags.  Tie bags on the leash if you don't have pockets.

Pool or Spa Care

  1. Do not drain your pool or spa to a lot, ditch or outside drain where water could enter groundwater, a stream or lake, or a storm drain.
  2. Do not drain your pool or spa to a septic system, as this action could cause the system to fail.


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