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Environmental update: The rainy season and pollution prevention

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By Rhys Rowland
Special to the company

The onset of fall marks the start of California’s official ‘rainy season’, and whether it rains or not (and we really hope it does!), It’s always a good idea to remember the prevention tips. rainwater pollution. When the rain drains from the roofs and sidewalks of the places where we live, shop, work and play, it drains through the streets and sidewalks, then enters the city’s storm sewer system through the inlets of the city. sewer along the street gutter.

Runoff from roofs and pavements carries pollutants, such as dirt, yard waste, pet waste, metals, soaps, pesticides, garbage, etc., and although some of these pollutants occur naturally when our activities add them to runoff, they often create concentrations of pollutants in the water. Unlike wastewater, which is treated before being released into the environment, stormwater flows untreated to local waterways and the Sacramento River.

To help keep our stormwater and waterways free of pollutants, follow these simple pollution prevention tips:

* Avoid using water to wash exterior surfaces. Use a broom, vacuum, or other dry cleaning method whenever possible.

* When you drain the pool or spa water into the gutter, make sure the water is clear (not green or brown), pH neutral (6.0-8.0) and contains less than 1 part of chlorine per million. You can drain without restriction to the sanitary sewer.

* Avoid washing cars at home. Instead, use a car wash where the wash water is drained down the drain. If a vehicle needs to be washed at home, use minimal amounts of water and biodegradable soaps and direct the wash water to a landscaped area. Consider using waterless car wash products.

* Check your vehicle for leaks and have them fixed. Use a drip pan when you find a leak until it can be repaired. Clean up any leaks using dry cleaning methods.

* Dispose of household hazardous waste at the Yolo County Landfill Hazardous Waste Facility, every Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Yolo County Landfill.

* Pick up your pet’s waste, seal it in a bag and throw it in the trash (not in the organic waste cart or yard waste pile).

* Prevent rainwater from mixing with trash and avoid windblown trash by keeping lids closed on your trash, recycling and organics bins when not in use. Limit the use of pesticides and herbicides. Look for less toxic products on OurWaterOurWorld.org

Green gardening workshops

The city offers free virtual green gardening classes on Wednesdays in October and November! Join us from the comfort of your home or office via Zoom! To register and view details for these courses, please visit GreenerDavis.org, and click on the link for Green Gardening Workshops. You can also contact the Public Utilities and Works Operations Department at 530-757-5686 or email [email protected] for more details and to register.

All classes will take place from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom. Course dates and themes:

* October 20: composting in the yard
* Oct. 27: Sustainable landscaping
* November 3: Selection, watering and maintenance of trees
* November 17: Leak detection and water use portal by City customers, AquaHawk

Fall planting and irrigation

October and November are the best months of the year for planting. In the fall, the soil is moist and the cooler temperatures put less stress on new plants. When planning your landscape, consider going beyond water-based landscaping and working to create a sustainable landscape that is more environmentally friendly, reducing runoff, improving wildlife habitat, and promoting health. of soils. For more information on sustainable landscaping and water use efficiency, please visit GreenerDavis.org and click on the link for Green Gardening.

Keep in mind that the landscape’s water needs decrease in the fall, and irrigation can be reduced by shortening each watering cycle or eliminating one or two watering days per week. If it rains, turn off your irrigation system for at least 48 hours after a rainy event. You might even consider turning off your irrigation system for the winter.

Good for bulky waste

Have you ever used your one-time bulky waste landfill voucher to get rid of appliances, furniture and other large unwanted items for free? If not, now is the time because the voucher is valid until November 30! Certain restrictions apply. Residents of Davis should have received their voucher in the mail at the end of July. Visit the Recology website at Recology.com/Recology-Davis or contact Recology at 530-756-4646 or for more details.

– Rhys Rowland is an Environmental Programs Specialist for the City of Davis; this column is published monthly. Contact him at [email protected] Visit GreenerDavis.org for more information.

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