Preventing Pollution at Home

Sweep, don't hose!

Sweep up debris like litter and leaves and dispose of it in the appropriate cart. It’s important to keep pollutants and litter out of storm drains, because in Alameda County, they flow directly to creeks and the Bay, without going to a treatment plant first. Soot, auto fluids, and other residue from daily life settle on our sidewalks, driveways, roofs, and other structures. When these surfaces are cleaned by hosing or using a power washer, the water carr­ies the pollutants away from your home, where they eventually find their way into a storm drain. Even tap water can harm the delicate microorganisms that help keep water ecosystems healthy. You can prevent pollution by sweeping instead of hosing. 

If you must wash, be sure that the flow of water ends up on landscaping or gravel areas instead of the street or sidewalk. 

Learn more about preventing pollution from home maintenance activities here.

ersion Options Preventing Pollution at Home Headlin

Wash your car the right way!

Did you know that when you go to the car wash, the facility collects all the dirty water? In this video, learn why it is important to always take your car to the car wash instead of washing your car at home!

Pick up after your pet!

Pet feces contain high concentrations of pathogens such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses. When rain and sprinkler water washes pet feces into storm drains, these pathogens end up in lakes and creeks posing a health risk to humans and wildlife.

Use Less-Toxic Pest Management 

When too much fertilizer or pesticides is used on landscaping, it can run off into storm drains, polluting our local creeks, and eventually San Francisco Bay. Common household pesticides show up in treated wastewater and in Bay Area creeks at levels that can harm sensitive aquatic life. Visit Our Water, Our World to help you find less-toxic solutions for managing pests.