- Public Works
- Puget Sound Starts Here
September is Puget Sound Starts Here Month!
Our City and many others have come together to bring “Puget Sound Starts Here Month,” lead by STORM (Stormwater Outreach for Regional Municipalities) and the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP).
Why Puget Sound Starts Here? “Here” is where we live, work, and play. It’s our backyard. Our driveways. Our neighborhoods. Our homes. Our businesses. When it rains, pollutants from car leaks, car wash soap and chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, and pet waste wash out through the storm drain into our local streams and ultimately the Puget Sound.
The Puget Sound has 13 counties and about 4.2 million people, and our actions can make a big difference! The Puget Sound needs our help!
What you can do:
• Do not over-fertilize your yard: over-fertilization will not increase plant growth, but the excess will wash off your yard and down the storm drain. Fertilizer runoff nourishes algae in creeks and lakes, depleting oxygen in the water, which can harm or kill aquatic wildlife. Learn about natural care here: https://www.naturalyardcare.org/Default.aspx
• Scoop every poop: pet waste contains nutrients and pathogenic bacteria that can affect human health. When pet waste is washed into our waterways it decays in the water, which impacts oxygen levels that can be harmful to fish and other aquatic wildlife. Learn the doogity here: http://www.scooppoop.org/index.aspx
• Fix your car leaks: vehicles drip an estimated 7 million quarts of motor oil into the Puget Sound watershed each year. Oil and other petroleum products can harm wildlife and habitat. When it rains, stormwater runoff carries petroleum products to rivers, streams, lakes and Puget Sound. Learn about your leak here: https://fixcarleaks.org/
• Install a rain garden: by mimicking the natural absorption and pollutant removal abilities, rain gardens can absorb runoff more efficiently, as much as 30% - 40% more than a standard lawn. By capturing rainwater in a rain garden, holding it, and then slowly releasing it into the soil, runoff from a large storm can be slowed and cleaned. Learn about raingarden here: https://www.12000raingardens.org/
• Wash your car over lawn or gravel: this will allow the water to seep into the ground where the soil can act as a natural filter. Use biodegradable or non-toxic soap that is phosphate-free. Better yet, take your car to a commercial car wash where wastewater is either recycled or treated.
Puget Sound is our home. Help us to keep it clean!