Clean Water Act and stormwater

The rains are back – and so is stormwater.

How many gallons of stormwater runoff come from a 1,200 square foot roof, after one inch of rain?                                                                     748 gallons         

The Clean Water Act has been in place for forty years – but how clean are our lakes, rivers and Puget Sound? And when most of us think about stormwater, we assume it is getting captured and cleaned up before it makes its way to the fishes.

KUOW answers some questions and shows what our stormwater really looks like in video How We Got Into Such A Mess With Stormwater at http://earthfix.kuow.org/water/article/drained-how-we-got-into-such-a-mess-with-stormwate/ (warning: contains images of gross, icky clouds of stuff you would not want to swim through).  

How can you help clean up your 748 gallons? A small place to start is…right at home! The folks at the King County Stormwater program have cool facts and other information at www.kingcounty.gov/environment/waterandland/stormwater.aspx.

The folks who study stormwater say: you can do a lot to help minimize stormwater problems

Start with doing one of the actions on their top 10 list:

  1. Maintain your car or truck. Fix oil leaks in your vehicles.
  2. Wash your car at a commercial car wash or wash it on your lawn.
  3. Drive less.
  4. Don’t fertilize before a rainstorm.  Find the good stuff for lawns and gardens at www.growsmartgrowsafe.org.
  5. Honey, shrink your lawn! (www.kingcounty.gov/environment/stewardship/nw-yard-and-garden/shrunk-lawn.aspx)
  6. If you are on a septic system, maintain the system. (www.kingcounty.gov/property/permits/FAQ/septic.aspx)
  7. Pick up after your pets and keep animals out of streams.
  8. Reduce impervious surfaces at home and increase the vegetated land cover of your property.
  9. Support your local storm or surface water program.
  10. Support smart growth choices. (www.letsdothiskingcounty.org/)

Stay dry and keep the stormwater clean.