Arcata Wants You to Help Prevent Stormwater Pollution This Rainy Season

This is a press release from the City of Arcata:

Arcata, CA – The City of Arcata is committed to improving local water quality, and our Environmental Services Department has some tips for community members on how to prevent stormwater pollution this rainy season.

Preventing stormwater pollution is an easy way community members can help keep Humboldt Bay, local creeks and other bodies of water clean for the public and wildlife.

Stormwater is rain that does not get absorbed into the ground, but flows into a stormwater drainage system. The City’s storm drainage system is separate from the wastewater sewer system, which means that rainwater and any other fluid or debris flowing into storm drains are not treated by our sewage treatment plant.

Items left in streets and gutters including leaves, cigarettes, trash, motor oil and other auto fluids from driveways, soapy runoff that occurs from washing cars, pet waste, garden pesticides and fertilizers, and muddy runoff from construction sites that wash into streets all enter the City’s storm drains and flow directly into Humboldt Bay, local rivers and creeks, which impacts local water quality.

Poor water quality affects everyone, including wildlife, so it is important that we all work together to prevent stormwater pollution. To keep local water clean, we must ensure that only rain goes down our storm drains.

Here are five easy stormwater pollution prevention measures that anyone can take to help keep our water clean:

1. Never wash anything into a storm drain.

Park your car on a lawn or gravel driveway for washing and pour soapy washing water down a sink drain.

2. Maintain your vehicle.

Inspect and maintain your vehicle regularly to prevent or stop leaks. Recycle used motor oil at a certified collection center.

3. Properly dispose of hazardous waste.

Take unwanted, toxic household cleaners, paint thinners, and any other hazardous waste to the Humboldt Waste Management Authority’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility for proper disposal.

4. Be a smart gardener.

Use pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers sparingly. Never apply pesticides if rain is in the forecast. Whenever possible, use non-toxic alternatives.

5. Pick up pet waste.

Properly dispose of your pet’s waste in a garbage can.

For more information on stormwater pollution, visit cityofarcata.org, or call the Environmental Services Department at 707- 822-8184.

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