From Polluted Run-off
Information provided by the San
Diego Coast Keeper
you know just one quart of oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water
and that fifty million gallons of oil disappear from cars each year -
burned in exhaust, dripped on the roadway or illegally dumped?
In this age,
a kayaker's paradise is not found by accident. Many efforts behind those
beautiful scenes make them possible.
to a recent study, San Diego Bay is the nation's second most polluted
bay; but Southern California's stormwater systems carry millions of
gallons of polluted runoff to the Pacific Ocean everyday. All across
the country and the world our waters face such dilemmas. Excess water
from storm water pollution carries yard wastes, dirt and pesticides
into gutters, down storm drains and into our oceans, lakes and streams.
San Diego BayKeepers have put together the following guidelines so that
you can help avoid polluted run-off from the waters you paddle in. You
as a kayaker and this site, as a kayaker's network, should assist in this
great effort. This season we will be devoted to that effort by providing
articles such as this.
the Home & Garden:
over water yards or landscaping - This is
one of the primary activities leading to stormwater pollution.
the Weather - Don't use pesticides, herbicides
or fertilizers just before it rains. Storms will wash your efforts away
and poison aquatic animals.
or Eliminate Garden Toxics - Pesticides and
herbicides not only kill pesky insects and weeds, they make swimmers
ill and can kill birds and fish, as well as beneficial insects. Talk
to your local nursery about nontoxic alternatives.
Avoid Chemical Fertilizers - Use nutrients
from your compost pile or soil amendments such as peat moss, blood or
bone meal, fish emulsion, manure or seaweed.
Your Yard Trimmings - Yard waste clogs storm
drains and causes flooding. Once it reaches the ocean, the decaying
waste absorbs oxygen fish need to survive.
Water Whenever Possible - Use a broom, not
a hose, to clean driveways and save hundreds of gallons of water.
Up After Your Pets - Animal feces washed into
storm drains account for an alarming level of harmful bacteria in polluted
Excavated Materials - During the rainy season,
use plastic tarps to cover excavated materials, stockpiles of asphalt,
sand and yard clippings, and dumpsters. Prevent wind from blowing contaminants
into gutters. Schedule grading and excavating projects for dry weather.
What's Harmful - Products labeled caution
are usually the least toxic; warning means moderate toxicity; and danger,
poison or the skull and crossbones indicates extreme toxicity. Remember,
if it is harmful to you, it is also harmful to wildlife at the other
end of the pipe.
of it Properly - Any liquid, solid or gaseous product labeled toxic,
flammable, corrosive, irritant or poison is household hazardous waste.
It is illegal to dispose of these products in the storm drain, sewer
system or regular trash. For proper disposal information, call your
local hazardous waste hotline number. Fire departments usually have
information and can be of assistance.
Toxic Products - Find alternatives to toxic household and gardening
materials such as aerosol products, chemical cleaners, bleach, thinners,
solvents, pesticides herbicides, fertilizers and products with chlorinated
compounds, petroleum distillates, phenols and formaldehyde.
for Safer Alternatives - Purchase products that are nontoxic, not
petroleum based, free of ammonia, phosphates, dye or perfume, readily
biodegradable, and whose containers are recyclable.
Overbuy Products - Purchase only the amounts you need, especially
of products containing hazardous or toxic materials.
be a Drip - Oil and other car fluids pose a serious threat to the
health of waterways and the ocean. Prevent stormwater from polluting
our waterways with fluids from your car: Recycled motor oil production
requires only 2.4% of the oil and 50% of the energy of new production.
your car regularly
s drip pan - when changing car fluids
up spills - with sawdust or kitty litter before they pose a problem
your car - at a car wash that recycles and reuses its water. If
you do it yourself, use a biodegradable soap and pull the car onto a
patch of grass or gravel rather than increasing the flow of water in
the gutter. Remove fine black dust from hubcaps with a damp paper towel
or soft cloth. Dispose in regular trash. The dust contains copper and
Water - Use a bucket of water, not a running hose, to wash and rinse
- Reduce auto transmissions by taking public
transportation, ridesharing and using alternative forms of transportation
Related Articles & Links: