Sponsored by the Clean Water Partners

In the Pacific Northwest, we have treasures that are worth protecting. Today, the main source of pollution in our local waterways comes from everyday activities that leave pollutants behind and get picked up in storm runoff and carried to our streams and waterways. However, there are many ways to help keep our water clean. Watch the videos below to learn how you can help protect the waters we love.

Clean Water, It’s Our Future - and it starts in your neighborhood.

What Drips Off Your Car Goes Into Our Local Waterways

  • Safest:

    Take your car to a commercial car wash. Their soaps are specialized so they won’t harm your paint. Their systems capture and treat water and the harsh chemicals needed to clean your chrome, etc. Their system conserves more water than washing your car at home.

  • Safe DIY:

    • For light dirt, use a waterless product and microfiber towels to save water.

    OR

    • Use a bucket, phosphate-free soap, spray nozzle and several old towels. Roll the towels like a long burrito across your driveway to divert the soap and contaminants coming off your car into your landscaping. These pollutants filter out in the soil, but are harmful to our water if they flow into street drains.

    – Make the towel roll slope down towards the lawn, rather than a straight line which will help water flow into the grass. Rinse soap into the lawn after you are finished.

    – Pour the unused soapy water under a shrub or into your home sink or bathtub.

    OR

    • Wash your car on the lawn. Pollutants will filter our in the soil and your grass can use the water.

  • Keeping the lawn free of weeds involves many choices—some methods are hazardous to our families, pets, and waterways.

  • Safest:

    Annually aerate, de-thatch and over-seed bare spots. This will keep the lawn dense and healthy, which keeps out weeds. Use an upright dandelion removal tool for easy manual weed removal. Fertilize only in fall with a slow release fertilizer, if needed.

  • Next Best:

    If you choose a weed or insect control product, look for the OMRI label which helps identify less hazardous chemicals. Always follow the label, as even natural/organic products can be harmful to bees. Only apply products when multiple dry days are forecast. Spot spray only the area of concern.

  • Not Recommended:

    Using combination products for insect or weed control combined with fertilizer is more likely to runoff to our waterways. These products contain toxins that harm water quality. Some specific chemicals to stay away from include; glyphosate, 2,4-D, dicamba, triclopyr, mecoprop (MCPP), and bifenthrin.

  • Helpful links to help you take care of your yard without harming our water.

    NACP Love Your Lawn Without Pesticides Fact Sheet


    Natural Yard Care