Tips for Residents

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Home Improvement
Lawn & Yard Care
Auto Care
Home Improvement

Paints, solvents, adhesives, debris, and toxic materials from home repair and remodeling are often swept, blown, or washed into the City's storm drain system and flow, untreated, into waterways. By following a few simple steps, you can prevent pollution.

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  1. Painting
  2. Construction & Remodeling
  • Use water-based paints whenever possible. Look for products labeled "latex" or "cleans with water."
  • Do not clean brushes or rinse containers in the street or gutter. For water-based paint, rinse them in the sink. For oil-based paint, clean them with thinner, which can be filtered and reused.
  • Never dump paint or paint-related products in the trash, gutter or a storm drain. Take them to a household hazardous waste collection site to be recycled.
  • Paint stripping residue, chips and dust from marine paints and paints containing lead or tributyltin are hazardous wastes.
  • Sweep them up and take them in a sealed container to a household hazardous waste collection site.
Lawn & Yard Care

Excess fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and gardens wash off and pollute streams. In addition, yard debris, clippings and leaves can wash into storm drains and contribute nutrients and organic matter to streams.

  • Use a timer to avoid over watering lawn areas 
  • Install a drip system or use a soaker hose rather than sprinklers in other irrigation areas.
  • Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. When use is necessary, use these chemicals in the recommended amounts. Use organic mulch or safer pest control methods whenever possible.
  • As of December 31, 2004, the sale of diazinon outdoor home lawn and garden products was made unlawful. Check stored products to see if diazinon is an ingredient. If you have products containing diazinon you are encouraged to dispose of them through the Household Toxic Waste Facility. Get more information on diazinon.
  • Compost or much yard waste. Don't leave it in the street or sweep it into storm drains or streams.
  • The City's waste hauler, Empire Waste Management, offers curbside pickup of yard waste with its regular garbage service. Contact Empire Waste Management for more information 707-585-8848.
Auto Care

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  1. Washing Your Car
  2. Changing Your Oil & Oil Filter
  3. Draining Your Radiator
 Washing your car and degreasing auto parts at home can send detergents and other contaminants through the storm drain system. Dumping automotive fluids into storm drains has the same result as dumping the materials directly into a water body.
  • Use a commercial car wash that treats or recycles its wastewater, or wash your car on your yard so the water infiltrates into the ground.
  • Repair leaks and dispose of used auto fluids and batteries at designated drop-off or recycling locations.

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  1. Pick Up After Your Pet
  2. Washing Pets
  3. Flea Control
Pet waste can be a major source of bacteria and excess nutrients in local waters.

When walking your pet, remember to pick up the waste and dispose of it properly. Flushing pet waste is the best disposal method. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain and eventually into local water bodies. For your convenience the city provides pet waste bags at its designated dog parks, located at Badger Park and the Villa Chanticleer.