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Residential Stormwater 5

Stormwater Protection at Home

Small changes at home and in our community can have large impacts on protecting the environment and our local waterways.  Below are tips by topic for activities in and around your home that can impact stormwater.

You can also learn more on our Integrated Pest Management page about how to incorporate environmentally-friendly practices for your landscape which will help our waterways, local wildlife and your family and pets.

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOGs)

Oils, fatty foods and home products should never be poured down the sanitary sewer or storm drain. Small amounts (general home cooking) should be collected, cooled and thrown in the garbage in a secure container. Larger amounts for fryers should be brought to a recycling facility.

The City of West Sacramento offers oil recycling drop-off at 1951 South River Road during business hours. Do not leave oil after hours, and plan to take your container home with you.

FOG

Pet Waste

Leaving pet waste in public spaces isn’t just a nuisance – its also pollution! Pet feces carry bacteria and chemicals that pollute waterways, spread disease and threaten local wildlife. Please always pick up after your pet and dispose of pet waste in a proper trash can.

Pet waste cannot be composted and should not be put in the organic or recycle cart!

Stormwater Protection on the Road

Help protect our waterways! Here are some tips for car maintenance and usage:

  • Check for Leaks: Even a small leak of oil, antifreeze, or other toxic auto fluid can find its way into a storm drain. In the event of a spill, soak up fluids with kitty litter and disposed of it at a hazardous waste facility.
  • Cigarette butts are the most littered item on California’s highways. They contain toxic chemicals and also are a fire hazard. Due to their size and lightweight nature, they can easily wash down storm drains when it rains.
  • Car Washing: Ideally, wash your vehicle at a commercial wash center, where the wash water is collected and treated (or even recycled) onsite. If you must wash at home, use as little water and soap as necessary, and if possible wash over a lawn or other area where water can be absorbed instead of running onto the street and into the storm drain. Check for leaks at the car and on the driveway or street and clean with kitty litter or absorbent pads before washing.
  • Clean out your vehicle’s seats and truck beds: If trash, recyclables and other debris seem to multiply in your car or truck, consider removing the items when you get home each day or when you’re at the gas station – before anything flies out of an open window or truck bed.
  • Tie down/secure loads in truck beds: Make sure items in your truck bed (whether it’s the load, tools, or yesterday’s lunch wrappers) are secure with tarps and tie-downs so these items don’t fall onto the roadway and end up in a storm drain.
  • Don’t litter: Litter and cigarette butts on highways and roads may be carried into streams, rivers, and the ocean through storm drain systems. Please remember to always properly dispose of all trash and recycling.
  • Consider alternative transportation: Walk, ride a bicycle, take public transit, or join a carpool. Fewer vehicles on California’s roads reduces pollution that can flow into storm drains.

Back to Stormwater Main Page

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