Help keep Arlington’s streams and environment clean. Prevent pollution in three easy steps:
- Only Rain Down the Storm Drain – If It’s On the Street, It’s In the Stream
- Protect Your Pipes from Fats, Oils, Grease (and Wipes!)
- Reduce Runoff and Prevent Erosion
1. Only Rain Down the Storm Drain
Rain from roads, roofs, driveways, parking lots, and backyards runs off into storm drains. This runoff is not treated. Storm drain pipes carry runoff directly to the nearest neighborhood stream.
Keep litter, dog waste, soil, grass clippings, leaves, salt, and wash water out of the storm drains. If it’s on the street, it’s in the stream.
Pick Up Pet Waste
Pet waste belongs in the trash, not on the ground. Pet waste contains twice as much bacteria per gram than human waste. In your yard, in our parks, in the dog park – wherever you are, pick up the poop and put it in the trash. Learn more about pet waste pickup.
Wash Your Car Without Harming Streams
Take your car to a commercial car wash. The dirt, grime, brake dust and soap is treated at a commercial car wash but is not treated at your home. If you wash a car on your driveway, wash water can run off into the street, enter a storm drain, and discharge into a stream, affecting fish and other aquatic life. Learn more about car washing to prevent pollution.
Fertilize in the Fall, If At All; Use Less Pesticide
Minimize or eliminate the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Never apply these chemicals before rain is forecast. Learn more about green gardening.
Draining Your Swimming Pool? Use These Best Practices
Pool water kills fish in our streams when discharged improperly. Follow the guidelines for the stream-safe way to release your pool water.
Clean Up And Wash Down Indoors After Home Improvement Projects. Never Wash on Your Driveway!
Discuss with your contractor where and how they will clean up. Rinse dirty paint brushes or wash water into a utility sink and dispose of dry materials in the trash. Paint, grout, mortar, wash water or any other material should not be washed into the street. Keep this in mind for DIY projects as well. Learn more about home improvement project cleanup.
Keep Salt Out Of Drinking Water
We are watching our winter salt use – here’s how you can too: Only use the necessarily amount, use the right tool for the job, and remember that when we use less, we protect our streams and drinking water sources. Learn more about winter salt use.
Image courtesy of the Smart About Salt #SaltingShift campaign.
How to dispose of electronics, paint and household hazardous waste?
E-CARE and the Household Hazardous Materials Facility provide Arlingtonians with safe options to dispose of numerous hazardous materials including chemicals and paint.
Learn more about PCBs and building material disposal.
2. Protect your pipes.
3. Reduce Runoff and Prevent Erosion.
Soak it in! Capture the rain with rain barrels, rain gardens, permeable pavers, cisterns, conservation landscaping and more – before it becomes runoff. With less water running off of your property, there are fewer opportunities for pollutants to be washed into our stormwater network and our streams. Plus, protect your landscape from erosion with plantings and mulch.
- Northern Virginia Low-cost Rain Barrel Program
- Green Home Choice Cisterns
- Stormwater at Home
- StormwaterWise offers funding for conservation landscaping, rain gardens, pavement removal and pervious surfaces.
Close the lid! Keep dumpster and grease container lids closed to avoid trash from blowing out and from filling with rain water.
If you spill outside, clean it up using dry clean up methods. Sweep up and/or use absorbent materials, but NEVER hose the spill off into a storm drain.
Arlington County is happy to provide its businesses with the materials shown here as reminders of best practices to avoid polluting our waterways. Contact Aileen Winquist to request copies.