Storm Water Pollution Prevention Tips for Homeowners
Did you know that storm drains are NOT connected to sanitary sewer systems and treatment plants? The primary purpose of storm drains is to carry rain water away from developed areas to prevent flooding. Untreated storm water, and the pollutants it carries, flow directly into the creeks, lagoons and ocean. Keep reading for suggestions on how you can help keep our creeks, lagoons and ocean clean.
Dispose of Yard Waste More Frequently
By disposing of grass, leaves, shrubs, and other organic matter more frequently — less will wash into storm drains.
Reduce Use of Landscape Chemicals
Decrease the use of lawn and garden care products such as pesticides, insecticides, weed killers, fertilizers, herbicides and other chemicals. Avoid over irrigation which washes chemicals into the gutter and storm drains.
Sweep or Rake
Sweep up debris and put it in a trash can. Do not use a hose to wash off sidewalks, parking areas and garages. Rake up yard waste and start a compost pile.
Use Soap Sparingly
When washing your car at home, use soap sparingly, divert washwater to landscaped areas and pour your bucket of soapy water down the sink. Never wash your car in the street.
Clean up After Your Pets
Take a bag when you walk your pets and be sure to always clean up after them. Flush pet waste down the toilet or dispose of it in a sealed plastic bag and throw it in the trash.
Buy Non-Toxic Products
When possible, use non-toxic products for household cleaning. If you must use a toxic cleaning product, buy small quantities, use it sparingly and properly dispose of unused portions. For information on the Vista Household Hazardous Waste collection facility call (877) 713-2784.
Care for Your Cars
Fix fluid leaks immediately. When you change your oil, recycle it properly. For the recycling center nearest you, call 1-800-CLEANUP.
Rather than plant exotic plant species, use California-Friendly native plants. Exotic plants can destroy native plant populations and increase the need for prolonged watering and chemical use.
Make sure hillsides, or other slopes around your property, do not discharge sediment or dirt onto the sidewalk, gutter, street or storm drain.
Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an emerging area of residential, landscaping, and agricultural pest control that uses a combination of environmentally-sound approaches to reducing and controlling the populations of common outdoor insects. The goal of an IPM program is to develop a long-term strategy to reducing pests, while avoiding the use of harmful chemicals. Common IPM approaches include: removal of exotic plants and replacement with natives; using "good-bug" predators to controlling "bad-bugs"; and reducing and eliminating chemicals (such as fertilizers and pesticides) that disrupt the normal ecological function of gardens.
The following are informational sheets are devoted to controlling these common pests:
- Head Lice
- Lawn Insects
- Safe Use and Disposal of Pesticides
- Snails & Slugs