What Can I Do to Protect Water?

You can help protect water from pollution and mitigate the effects of Climate Change by developing new habits and implementing what we call “River-Friendly” practices for your home, garden and yard.

By no longer using fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides at home, you can reduce the amount of harmful substances carried into our waterways when it rains.

Never flush unused pharmaceuticals or left over toxins like paint thinner down your toilet or sinks. The wastewater treatment plant serving your home may have trouble removing these contaminants from the water before it is released to a local stream or river.

Other useful steps include picking up pet waste and using car washes or washing your car on the lawn instead of your driveway to limit the soapy water draining to your local stream.

Homeowners may add rain barrels, downspout planters and/or rain gardens to capture, store and absorb water when it rains, instead of directing your downspout to a driveway or the street, where it can pick up pollutants and wash them into a local stream.

Reducing the volume of water flowing off your property (or eliminating runoff from your property altogether) will reduce the intense negative effects of rain during a storm, and allow the water to be released more slowly into yards and flower beds.

In addition to modifying your own behavior, try working with your workplace, your children’s schools, or the clubs you belong to change their practices as well.

The Watershed Institute’s River-Friendly Certification Program certifies residents, businesses, schools and golf courses that take voluntary actions to protect our environment.