Storm water runoff is said to account for up to 80% of the pollution in some of our streams. Each year, people pour hazardous chemicals, pesticides, paints, detergents, antifreeze and used motor oil down storm drains. Rainwater washed along neighborhood gutters into storm drains, eventually flowing into the San Joaquin River.
It is important to understand that roadways are directly connected to our rivers. Whatever lands on the road, whether it is gas, oil, brake dust or any number of other contaminants, end up going down the storm drain and into local waterways. Part of the problem is the common misconception that storm water is treated for pollutants the way household sewage is treated.
Storm water does not go to a treatment plant. Instead, it carries pollutants that are dumped onto streets, gutters or storm drains directly into our waterways.
Best Management Practices to help reduce or eliminate pollutant discharges to storm drains:
— Sweeping up grass clippings and leaves before they enter the storm drain system and dispose of them in your green cart.
— Keeping fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides off concrete and paved areas to prevent water washing the chemicals into the storm drain.
— Rinsing paint brushes in the sink rather than outside on the sidewalk or in the street.
— Always use a drip pan when changing the oil in your vehicle.
— Picking up after your pets to avoid wastes from being washed into the storm drain.
For more information contact Municipal Services at (209) 668-5590 or visit the City of Turlock website at www.CityofTurlock.org. Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.
Did you know?
An estimated one pint of oil can cause a slick about the size of two football fields on the surface of calm water? It also contaminates the water, making it unfit for activities such as swimming, fishing, and other common recreational usage.