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Pet waste is basically raw sewage. Dog poop contains harmful organisms like Roundworms, Giardia, and E. coli which can be transmitted directly to humans. These organisms can remain on your lawn for as long as four years threatening the safety of your pets and children. The only way to remove the danger is to pick up your pet waste and place it in the trash.
And if that's not enough of an incentive, you could also earn yourself a $250 fine for leaving pet waste on public or private property (BMC 6.16.011).
Learn more about picking up after your pet.
Most auto fluids don’t dissolve in water. They last a long time and stick to everything from sand to bird feathers. Oil and other petroleum products are toxic to people, wildlife, and plants. Rain washes the fluids that leaks from our cars onto driveways, roads, and into storm drains.
A small leak can turn into an expensive repair if you don't address it right away. Learn more about vehicle leaks and how to identify what kind of fluid is leaking.
Washing your car at home sends pollutants from your car (oil, grease, fuel, heavy metals, nutrients, etc.) into our storm drains and directly into our rivers, lakes and wetlands. We also have a code in Bothell that makes it against the law to discharge any pollutants into the public drainage system (BMC 18.04.260). These pollutants include the soap and chemicals that are used to clean your vehicle - even biodegradable soaps. You should use a commercial car wash, a waterless car wash product, or divert your wash water to a permeable surface like grass or gravel.
Learn more about car washing.
Here are some options and alternatives:
Natural yard care includes build healthy soil, planting right for your site, practicing smart watering, and eliminating the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers. Learn all about it!
LID stands for low impact development techniques.
You can use these techniques and design considerations in building, construction, and development to help capture and move rainwater while improving the aesthetics of your property. Low impact development manages the rainwater that falls on your property by allowing some to evaporate back into the air, some to absorb into the ground, some to be captured and used later as needed, and the rest to slowly pass into the stormwater system and into nearby streams.
It's a landscaped, strategically placed, depressed area that is planted with native vegetation to soak up rain water. Learn more about rain gardens.
Check out this rain garden manual to teach you everything you need to know if you'd like to build a rain garden.
A shallow ditch with gently sloping sides and various layers of soils beneath. A bioswale - sometimes called a vegetated ditch - slows stormwater runoff and directs it to an area where it can soak in. It achieves the same goal as a rain garden, but is usually designed to manage a larger amount of runoff. A bioswale often uses grass and plants to stabilize the soil, reduce erosion, slow the flow, and absorb runoff.
Learn more about bioswales, their benefits, and how to take care of them.
Check out these options for safely getting rid of your hazardous materials.