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Stormwater Division
614 Division St.   Port Orchard, WA,  MS-26A
Phone:(360)337-5777 * Fax: (360)337-5678
 

    

 

 

Clean Water Kitsap


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Common Spills and Sources of Pollution

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Paint                                                             

      x Paint cleanup in driveway runs into storm system
Typical situation: 
Pollution from paint usually comes from improper cleanup, but can also occur from spills and dumping.
Prevention:
Avoid painting outside when it is raining.  Never clean brushes or other painting equipment outside; never pour the rise water into the storm system
Proper Disposal & Cleanup:  Never pour any type of paint directly down your sewer or septic connected home drain.  Do not clean up oil based paints into septic systems.  Minimize the amount of latex paint; small amounts of latex paint can be set out to dry and disposed of with garbage.   Recycle or dispose large amounts of unused or unusable paint at Kitsap County's Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

Impact:  All paints types, especially oil based, are toxic.  When those toxins make it into our waterways, they can harm fish and other aquatic life.
 Car Fluids                                                    

Leaking fluids into the storm drain 
Proper Disposal & Cleanup:   Use cat litter to soak up small spills of oil, sweep up and dispose of in the trash.  Uncontaminated motor oil can be recycled at local auto part stores and recycling facilities.  Dispose of large amounts of car fluids at Kitsap County's Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHW).

Impact:  Pollution from improper disposal and dumping can affect fresh and salt water receiving waters.
Typical Situation:
Car fluid spills can come from leaking cars, car accidents or dumping.
Prevention:  
Fix all car leaks as soon as possible.  Place a drip pan under the vehicle while it is parked.  Never dump used car fluids into the storm system.

Suds                                                             
Typical Situation:
Some foams are natural in streams and on shorelines.  Foam or suds from soap or detergent is usually brighter white and accompanied with a soapy smell.  Sources include car washing, failing septic systems or spills.
Prevention:
Whenever possible, wash cars on grass or a place where the water will not run into the storm system, or use a commercial car wash where the runoff is specially handled. 
 --> Vehicle Wash Information
Proper Disposal & Cleanup: When possible, dispose of soapy water into a wastewater system.

Impact:  All soaps can be harmful to the environment.  Biodegradable does not mean non-toxic, it may take a long time for a "biodegradable soap" to break down.

Debris                                                             
Don't abuse the storm drain Debris
Typical Situation:
Often construction sites have a lot of bare soil which can easily lead to erosion.  Muddy water can leave the site many ways:  piped discharge, vehicle track-out, pressure washing and sheet flow.

Proper Disposal & Cleanup:  
Prevention:
Proper Best Management Practices (BMPs) for building sites, like silt fencing, wheel washes, and limiting exposed areas limits the dirty water leaving the site.
Some construction activities like washed aggregate driveways can be more of a challenge to contain, but with a little planning, the water can be kept on site as required.
All contaminated runoff from the site must be treated before entering the storm system or natural waterway.

Impact:   Turbid water from construction sites can degrade fish habitat and inhibit survival.  Excess sedimentation can clog pipes leading to flooding.
Sewage                                                           
S
eptic system discharge, leaky, broken or misconnected waste water pipes
 
Typical Situation:
Failing septic systems can discharge directly into the storm system. Wastewater pipes can break or be misconnected during construction. Usually sewage has a strong smell, sometimes looks sudsy and can have solids present.
Prevention:  
Regularly pump your septic tank, typically every 3 years. If you think you are having problems with your septic system call the Kitsap Public Health District at 360.337.5235, or see their brochure "Know Your OSS". Know where your drains lead, gray water discharges are serious pollution sources and are sometimes not connected properly to septic or sewer.
Proper Disposal & Cleanup: Avoid contact with possible sewer or septic leaks. For home septic systems call a pumping or maintenance professional. Usually public owned systems are fixed and cleaned up by the local municipality.

Impact: Septic and sewer system releases can be serious sources of pathogens and contaminants. Even small leaks can close beaches to recreation and shellfish harvest.
Litter & Trash                                                  
Typical Situation:
Solid waste can clog a storm system and cause flooding.  Depending on the waste, it can include other hazardous materials like oil, paint, etc.
Prevention:  
Kitsap County Solid Waste conducts amnesty days for furniture and yard waste.  Make sure to keep your load covered and secure when on the road.
Proper Disposal & Cleanup: All trash should be disposed of at drop off facilities or normal waste pickup.
Impact:  Metals and other toxins can leach from trash left out in the rain.
 Yard Waste                                                     
Typical Situation:
When dumped into ditches, the street or ponds, yard waste can clog the system and cause flooding.  It can also add excess nutrients into natural waters.
Prevention:  
Always contain yard wastes in secure covered piles on your property for composting or disposal.  Do not dump yard wastes in ditches, ponds, beaches or into creeks.
Proper Disposal & Cleanup: Composting is a great way to recycle yard waste into a valuable resource.  Kitsap County Solid Waste also has information on disposal and conducts amnesty days for yard waste.

Impact:  Excess nutrients and pesticides can leach from yard waste and into our natural waterways.
 Farm Animal Manure                                       
Typical Situation:
Manure from pastured animals can carry bacteria and nutrients into the storm system.
Prevention:  
Keep farm animals away from streams and store manure away from surface waters or under cover to avoid runoff.
Proper Disposal & Cleanup: Kitsap Conservation District offers technical assistance to farms.

Impact:  Farm animal manure increases the bacterial loads to stream and marine waters, closing beaches for recreation and shellfish harvesting.
 Swimming Pools & Hot Tubs                        
Typical Situation:
The draining of pools and hot tubs can flush chlorinated water into surface waters.
Prevention:  
Plan maintenance well in advance to ensure proper disposal.
Proper Disposal & Cleanup: Allow water to sit until there is no trace of chlorine and it is at air temperature.  If possible, send water to a wastewater system, not septic.  Call your waste water utility for permission.

Impact:  Chlorinated water can kill or harm plants and animals.
 Chemicals & Fertilizers                                 
Typical Situation:
Old cans of chemicals (cleaners, solvents, pesticides, etc.) and fertilizers are left in places where they can rust, leak or spill easily.
Prevention:  
Limit purchases of toxic chemicals.  Always keep chemicals and fertilizers in dry cool places.
Proper Disposal & Cleanup: Dispose of unneeded or unused chemicals and fertilizers at the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Facility, which also offers a Swap Shop for items that can be reused.

Impact:
 Chemicals and fertilizers if disposed of improperly can be long lived in the environment and hard to clean up.
   
Kitsap County Public Works
Kitsap1: 360.337.5777
Kitsap1@co.kitsap.wa.us