Pesticides—including insecticides, weed killers, and slug bait—contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful to people, pets, wildlife, and the environment. Children and pets are especially susceptible. While product warning labels (CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER) indicate toxicity levels, other risks include repeated use and other living things in the area of use that may be exposed. Opt for non-toxic or less-toxic products for a safer, healthier environment.
The Oregonian published an article in April 2013 that explores this topic further along with tips for less-toxic gardening.
What is Stormwater?
"Stormwater" is water that flows across the land — and it is not limited to what falls from the sky. It includes water that runs off any hard surface, from roads to roofs, or even sun-baked fields. This runoff is NOT treated before it enters the storm drainage system, which leads directly to nearby waterways. That means any pollution collected by the runoff is carried into local streams, creeks, and rivers, causing trouble for marine life, plant life, wildlife, and people — in short, ALL life is impacted by stormwater pollution.
How Does Stormwater Affect Eugene's Water Quality?
In eastern Eugene, storm drains empty into the Mill Race and the Willamette River. In western Eugene, storm drains flow into Amazon Creek which leads north to Fern Ridge Reservoir, to the Long Tom River, and ultimately the Willamette River. The stormwater collection system includes all publicly maintained pipes, culverts, gutters, catch basins, ditches, channels, ponds, wetlands and related waterways.
Problems occur when water flows across the land, picks up pollutants and carries them into local waterways via a stormwater system. In Eugene, storm drains flow directly–untreated–to local creeks, ponds, wetlands and rivers. And because these pollutants can come right back to us through the water cycle (evaporation, transpiration, storage, precipitation), when we protect Eugene's stormwater, we also protect the overall quality of water for Oregon and the nation! Read more in the most recent issue of Stormwater Connections.
Did you know pressure washing can lead to stormwater pollution? Check out this video or our fact sheet to learn some simple ways to keep contaminants out of our waterways.
Does your school or club hold fund-raising car washes? Be fish friendly by keeping soap out of storm drains. Our video will show you how simple it is to use our free car wash kit. Our fact sheet helps every car owner make clean water choices for washing.
Learn about the award-winning habitat restoration at Delta Ponds that has brought young salmon back to the former gravel pits.