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Savor Summer While Saving Local Water

Tips to Protect Local Waterways

Post Date:06/12/2009

Nikki Rivas - Mother duck with her ducklings, swimming in a pondIn Texas, summer is the time to enjoy local lakes, rivers, streams and creeks, but some people unknowingly pollute and impair these water bodies with their daily activities. Even if these activities do not occur in a specific water body, they still have the potential to pollute our waters through storm water runoff.

When it rains, cooking oil and grease, motor oil and fuel, trash, pet waste and other materials deposited on yards and streets are washed into the storm inlets and carried into area creeks. Water transported by the storm drainage system does not receive treatment for pollutant removal before entering bodies of water. Any pollutant deposited in the storm drainage system will eventually run into local streams and rivers, the source of drinking water for North Texas.

The following tips can help protect local waterways:

  • Dispose of trash and debris in a covered trash receptacle. Place used cooking oil, fats or grease into a non-breakable and tightly sealed container and dispose of it in your trash.
  • Recycle used motor oil at an approved recycling center. If your vehicle is leaking fluids, place a can underneath to collect the fluids until it can be repaired. Place cat litter on the spilled oil and sweep into a trash bag.
  • Carry a plastic bag to collect your pet’s waste on walks. Trash receptacles are usually provided in neighborhood parks; use these to dispose of your pet’s waste.
  • Leave grass clippings and leaves on your yard or place in yard bags on your collection day. Use a leaf blower to blow grass clippings and leaves back onto your yard. Do not direct clippings into the storm drain inlet or allow your lawn service to do so. 
  • If you need to drain your pool for repairs or empty it at the end of the summer, make sure to drain the pool water to the sanitary sewer and not to the alley, street or storm drains.
  • If you wash your vehicle at home instead of taking it to a commercial carwash, try washing it on the grass and using a minimal amount of soap. Carwashes may be great as fundraisers, but the soapy water is not allowed to drain to the water ways. Try partnering with a commercial carwash; use a location that has a sand trap for the wash water or use water only.

Please contact Environmental Services for any questions or to report potential violations at 972-466-3060.

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