Puget Sound Starts Here
City of Bothell is working with hundreds of organizations across Puget Sound to challenge you to do at least one simple action that helps keep Puget Sound healthy. What will you do?
This year we're focusing on how taking care of your vehicle can help keep pollution out of Puget Sound. Learn more about how proper tire inflation, fixing leaks, and washing your vehicle safely can make a major difference in the health of Puget Sound.
Car tires have many chemicals that help protect them from damage. As we drive, the tires wear down, leaving tiny bits of tire behind on our roads. The chemicals in the tire bits are toxic to fish. When it rains, the runoff picks up the tire bits and carries them down storm drains and into our waterways.
Scientists recently discovered that an ingredient in tires called 6PPD-Q, used to preserve tire rubber, reacts with ozone in the air, transforming it into a new chemical that’s highly toxic to Coho salmon.
Taking care of your tires is the best thing drivers can do to reduce wear and prevent tire pollution. Bonus: proper tire maintenance will extend the life of your tires and save you money.
- Keep tires properly inflated so that they will wear down more slowly. Check your tire pressure once per month, either with your own pressure gauge or at a gas station air pump. You can find the recommended tire pressure in your owner’s manual, stamped on the tire itself, or on a sticker inside the driver’s side door
- Get your tire alignment checked and rotate tires according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Proper alignment and regular rotation prevent uneven wear on your tires, reducing the amount of tire particles that wear off as you drive.
Don’t Drip and Drive
Even a small oil leak can have a big impact on your car and our creeks, lakes, rivers, and Puget Sound. Every drop on your driveway means a shorter lifespan for your car. Plus, oil and other petroleum products are toxic to people, wildlife, and plants. Take these steps to maintain the health of your vehicle and the environment:
- Check your vehicle for leaks regularly and get them fixed promptly. Learn how to diagnose or fix a leak.
- Always dispose of used motor oil properly. You can bring it to your local auto shop for recycling (call or visit 1-800-RECYCLE to find a location near you). Or visit the Household Hazardous Wastemobile when it makes one of its stops in Bothell (see the Wastemobile schedule).
- Use ground cloths or drip pans if you find a leak or are doing engine work. Clean up spills immediately.
When you wash your car, the rinse water contains harmful pollutants like oil, grease, heavy metals and soaps. If you wash your car on the street or in your driveway, the pollutants can run on the street and into the storm drain, and then flow untreated into our local creeks, lakes, rivers and Puget Sound. Here are three eco-friendlier methods to try:
- Take your car to a commercial car wash. Commercial car washes are required to treat their dirty wash water.
- If using a commercial car wash isn’t an option, wash your car in a grassy area. The grass and soil will soak up the wash water, preventing it from running down the street into a storm drain.
- If you don't have a grassy area, use rolled up towels to create a "berm" on your driveway or street to soak up or redirect the water to a place where it can soak in.
What does "Puget Sound Starts Here" mean?
First, a bit about the rain.
We know it tends to rain here. Like, a lot. When it rains, water flows over hard surfaces like roofs, parking lots, driveways, streets, and lawns where the soil has been packed down. As rainwater flows towards ditches and storm drains, it picks up dog poop, lawn chemicals like fertilizer and pesticides, motor vehicle oil, and many other pollutants along the way.
Where does the rain go next?
That polluted rainwater - also called stormwater runoff - travels without treatment right into our local streams, lakes and wetlands that eventually empty into the Puget Sound. That's what we mean by "Puget Sound Starts Here." Your actions - in Bothell or anywhere else in Western Washington - have an impact, and we all have the power to help improve water quality.
Be the solution
Learn more about how you can get involved at www.pugetsoundstartshere.org.
Take the Puget Sound Starts Here Pledge
Puget Sound Starts Here (PSSH) is made up of more than 750 organizations working together to raise awareness about how our everyday actions affect Puget Sound. Learn more about what we do!