rainy day
Winter is Coming - Remember, Only Rain Down the Drain!
Stacey Hendler Ross

This article was contributed by Selena Gonzalez.

As winter approaches, let’s battle water pollution and keep our storm drains and creeks clean! Winter rains produce stormwater runoff which is rain that does not soak into the ground and flows over land and other surfaces. Stormwater runoff can carry trash and pollutants into storm drains, which flow directly to creeks, rivers, and the Bay without any treatment.  The trash and chemicals in the runoff pose a threat to wildlife and water quality.

Together, we can battle stormwater pollutants! Remember “only rain down the drain.”

If you observe stormwater concerns such as trash, illegal dumping, or any fluid with a visible sheen, odor, or color entering the storm drain on VTA properties please call (408) 321-2300.

Here are some ways to keep storm drains clear of trash and pollutants:

  • Keep garbage and recycling cans tightly covered to prevent litter from being blown away during storms.
  • Take your car to a commercial car wash prior to the first rains.
  • Do not drain or pour any automotive fluid onto the street or into a storm drain.
  • Sweep dirt out of curbs and into landscaping to prevent it from entering storm drains.
  • Adjust your sprinklers to prevent over-watering and prevent water from draining onto paved surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks.
  • Do not apply pesticides or fertilizers before a rain event or within
    • 5 feet of pavement
    • 25 feet of a storm drain
    • 50 feet of a water body
  • Compost leaves and yard clippings.
  • Always pick up after your pet.

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