Properly dispose of used motor oil, paints, solvents, and other chemicals– NEVER pour used oil or leftover chemicals down the storm drain, put them in the trash, or pour them out onto the ground.
Bag and tie your trash- loose litter often ends up in our local waterways. Not only is litter an eyesore, but many types of litter can choke or suffocate our local wildlife.
Follow manufacturer instructions when applying fertilizers and other lawn additives and don’t use more than you need. This saves you time and money and helps protect the environment. Too much fertilizer is simply washed away when it rains. When these excess nutrients make it to our waterways they contribute to algae growth– both a water recreation nuisance and a drinking water problem.
Conserve water and avoid overwatering your lawn. Consider xeriscaping and the use of native plants that are accustomed to our local rainfall patterns. Installing a rain barrel can further reduce irrigation costs and help reduce the impact of runoff from your property.
Don’t put leaves or grass clippings into the storm drains. Yard debris can quickly clog storm drains and cause flooding of nearby neighborhoods. Additionally, all of those leaves and grass clippings eventually decompose. When that takes place in a river or lake, it can deplete the water of oxygen and make those areas uninhabitable for fish and other aquatic species. Consider composting yard waste– an environmentally friendly and cost effective way to return nutrients to your soils.
If you are a City of Waco residential trash customer, you can request a green yard waste cart at no extra charge. Leaves, grass clippings, and yard debris go into the cart and are collected every other week. Call (254) 299-2612 or go to waco-tx.com to request a cart. You can pick it up or have it delivered.
Pick up after your pets. Pet wastes are home to a host of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. This becomes a public health concern both when the wastes are left in parks, yards, or along trails AND when it rains. The rain carries those pathogens through the storm drain system and to our local waterways. Carry a plastic bag when you take your pup out, and use it to pick up the waste. Remember to tightly tie or seal the bag and throw it away in a trash can.
In addition to properly disposing of your used motor oil, regular vehicle maintenance can have a positive impact on our local waterways. Don’t ignore the drip- repair leaks when you notice them. Leaking automotive fluids accumulate on roads and parking lots and are eventually washed down the storm drain when it rains. These chemicals contaminate water supplies and can be harmful to aquatic wildlife.
When possible, wash your vehicle at a commercial car wash. These types of facilities capture the soapy water and send it to the sanitary sewer for treatment. If that isn’t possible, consider washing your car on an unpaved surface (such as your yard), so that the wash water is filtered by the ground rather than going straight to the storm drain.
Have you seen someone put something in the storm drain that they shouldn’t? Is there a strange odor or color in the creek? If you notice something that doesn’t seem right, call in and report it. The city hotline is (254) 299– CITY or (254) 299-2489. To report illegal dumping of trash, please call (254) 299-2611.