Streamside Livin'   Thurston County Storm & Surface Water ProgramStreamside Livin'
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Of course, it's no surprise that many products are just plain poisonous to fish and other living things. Poisons get into our streams from roadside ditches, storm drains, septic system drainfields and water running off lawns and driveways. You can protect your stream, the health of your family and pets, and your drinking water (groundwater) by doing the following:


  • Use alternatives to weed and bug killers because weed & feed and diazinon products are poisons. For ideas on healthier ways to garden, or for answers on how to safely remove invasive weeds like blackberries, call Thurston County's Common Sense Gardening Program at (360) 754-4111.

  • Use less toxic household cleaners, many of which go down your drains. If you are connected to the sewer system, cleaners could end up in Budd Inlet. If you have an onsite septic system, toxic products end up in your drainfield and, possibly, in the groundwater your family drinks. For safe alternatives, call (360) 754-4111.

  • Recycle your used motor oil. NEVER pour it on the ground or down a storm drain. Most storm drains are connected to streams and lakes. For information on the closest place you can recycle used oil, call Thurston County Environmental Health at (360) 754-4111.

  • Make sure soap from car washing stays out of storm drains. Even a phosphate-free soap like laundry detergent can make fish sick. You can wash your car over a grassy area to trap soap, or go to a commercial car-wash where water is recycled.




Salmon Friendly Drain Cleaner

Recipe for alternative drain cleaner:
1/2-cup baking soda
1/2-cup vinegar
boiling water

Pour 1/2-cup of baking soda down the drain first, then 1/2-cup vinegar. Let it fizz for a few minutes. Then pour down a teakettle full of boiling water. Repeat if needed; frees minor clogs and helps prevent future clogs. If the clog is stubborn, use a plunger or mechanical snake. Cover drains with strainers to keep out hair.


Did you know? A recent study by the US. Environmental Protection Agency found the presence of commonly used pesticides like diazinon and 2,4-D (found in weed & feed products and other herbicides) in urban streams in Washington. In this study, 23 pesticides used by homeowners were found in the water and sediments. Around Puget Sound, urban dwellers buy more than one million pounds of pesticides each year. This is more than three times the amount applied by local farmers.


Trees Please!
Native Plants Get Our Vote
Slow the Flow
Muddy Water Blues
No Poisons Please

We've Been Slimed!
A Word About Waste
The Salmon Life Cycle
We're on the Go!
Streamside Livin' Home

Thurston County
Storm & Surface Water Program

929 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502

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  • Call the Thurston County Storm & Surface
    Water Program at (360) 754-4681
    or TDD (360) 754-2933
Page last updated: 3/99
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