(image and text courtesy of the
Washington State Water Quality Consortium)
When you're washing your car in the driveway, remember: you're
not just washing your car in the driveway...
All the soap, scum, and oily grit runs along the curb. Then it runs
into the storm drain and directly into our lakes, and streams.
And that causes pollution which is unhealthy for fish. So how
do you avoid this whole mess? Easy. Wash your car on grass or
gravel instead of the street. Or better yet, take it to a car
wash where the water gets treated and recycled.
The RSPT has a section on conducting Car Washes in their
that features service and fundraising projects focused on protecting water quality.
Find more watershed-friendly advice using the links to the left.
You can make a difference
Big improvements can start from home
To protect our creeks and streams we all must recognize that we can be part of the problem and we can be part of the solution.
KNOW YOUR WATERSHED
The first step in protecting our creeks and streams is to recognize and appreciate your watershed.
Everyone lives in a watershed
In fact you probably live in several layers of watersheds.
In Duluth, Minnesota 42 documented and named streams cut through
the city. Any water from the streets, houses and ditches will
ultimately drain either to one of these streams or directly
to Lake Superior or the St. Louis River. The flow, speed and
direction of the water depend on the lay of the land. Wherever
you live, the rain that falls or the water from your hose
will run off your impervious (cement, stone, asphalt, roofing
or wood) surfaces into streets, streams, ditches and ultimately
travel to the stream, creek, river, lake or ocean for which
your watershed is named.
Go out and look at the catch basin or ditch in front of your home.
Where does that water go? It flows directly to some natural
water body without any treatment. For Duluthians eventually
it ends up in Lake Superior. The City takes its drinking water
from the Lake. Doesn’t it make sense to be careful what
goes into that water?
RECOGNIZE THAT EVERYONE CONTRIBUTES WATER TO THE SYSTEM
It easy to see how you get water in the system if there is a catch basin in front of your house
and your driveway slopes to the road or the downspouts off you apartment pour to the road, but for others the picture
is not as clear.