Small actions can lead to big change. Whether it is identifying the destination of household downspouts, recycling or changing the way cars are washed, we can all help prevent storm water pollution from entering Oahu’s water resources.
What You Can Do
Turn off the water
Don’t let water run during daily activities such as brushing your teeth or washing dishes.
Stop any household leaks
In an effort to conserve water, identify any household leaks that may be coming from your pipes and faucets. Replace washer or any part needed to and prevent unintentional dripping. Be sure to check your outside pipes and faucets, as well as the nozzle of your garden hose.
Don’t dump or throw anything into a storm drain inlet along the highways or streets. Also, if conditions are safe, pick up any rubbish along your sidewalk or street. Anything that enters into a storm drain inlet will discharge directly into the ocean or the nearest stream.
Change your habits
Implementing water saving habits into your daily routine will not only conserve water resources, but may also lower your utility bill. Some examples are limiting showers to five minutes, using the dishwasher or washer machine only for full loads, less frequent toilet flushing, and limiting the amount of water consumed during peak hours, usually mid day to evenings. Tracking water usage may also reduce the use of unnecessary water, which may leak and enter the storm drain system.
Find out how many downspouts are on your property and where they discharge to. Some may discharge directly onto a paved surface that leads directly to a storm drain inlet, increasing the chance of polluted storm water entering the storm drain system.
Use a leaf bag
To prevent leaves and cut grass from being blown or carried into the storm drain system, collect and store your organic debris in a leaf bag.
Use and dispose of chemical products properly
Chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, paints and motor products can pose a great threat to the marine environment. It is important to use as necessary as well as to properly store and dispose of hazardous chemicals. For more information, click here.
In addition to providing the soil with micro- and macronutrients that help encourage plant growth, compost helps improve soil structure and prevents soil erosion from your garden.
Placing recyclable items in the proper bin will help keep debris off the highways and roadways, and out of our landfills.
Pick up pet waste
Pet waste that is left on the ground can be transported by storm water into the storm drain system and discharged directly into the nearest stream and ocean. Bacteria may enter these water bodies and create water conditions that are unsuitable to drink and/or swim in.
Avoid using water to clean your driveway
Using water to clean up your driveway will direct sediment and chemicals that are on your driveway directly to the nearest storm drain inlet, and ultimately into the ocean. Use a broom instead and make sure to place unwanted debris in your trash bin.
Wash your car in a green way
Washing your car on an impervious surface such as a concrete driveway will carry dirty, soapy water, along with any other pollutants into the nearest storm drain. Instead, wash your car on the grass or any area that allows water to infiltrate into the ground bellow. A commercial car wash is another alternative as they recycle the wash water.
Find out what activities are taking place in your community to address pollution prevention, whether it is a beach cleanup or an erosion control project, and get involved!