It’s “winter” in Hawaii, what’s known as our rainy season. While the rains replenish the islands’ water sources, revitalize our forests and gardens, and refresh our watersheds, they also have the potential to wash pollutants into our storm drains, which can end up in our ocean.

We can all do our part to help storm drains free of contaminants this time of year. Here are tips you can take to keep the ocean safe and clean this rainy season:

Don’t pour fats, oils, or grease down the drain. Fats, oil, and grease stick to the inside of sewer pipes, and build up over time, causing clogs in home or street sewer lines. Instead, put excess grease in a can, and put it in the trash.

Don't pour fats, oils, or grease down the drain
 

Don’t use pesticides in your yard or garden. Rain will wash these chemicals off your lawn or garden, into our storm drains, and ultimately into the ocean. Pesticide use is a major source of ocean pollution that kills fish and aquatic plants, and damages our fragile coral reefs. Many weeds and pests are better repelled by physical removal or by beneficial plants and insects that naturally control pest populations.

Don't use pesticides in your yard or garden
 

Reuse rainwater. Reduce both your water consumption and storm water pollution to by capturing rainwater in barrels for later reuse in your garden or yard.

Reuse rainwater
 

Plant a rain garden. Direct the rainwater from your roof, driveway, and walkways to a garden of native, drought-resistant plants. A rain garden absorbs rainwater and breaks down pollutants naturally, keeping rainwater from flowing off your property and picking up pollutants on the way to storm drains.

Plant a rain garden
 

Adopt-A-Highway.Most litter consists of materials that degrade slowly, let’s help do our part by help preventing litter from entering the storm drain by picking up litter or by adopting a highway. Visit http://www.stormwaterhawaii.com/adopt-a-highway/ to learn more.