Earth Month Series: Water Pollution Prevention

In honor of Earth Day/Month, the City of Redwood City is introducing a series on how the City — with your help — is saving the earth’s environment one program at a time!

Many people in our community have expressed concern about protecting our environment and keeping our waterways clean. This blog provides ways you can help us keep our water clean through various programs and initiatives offered by the City of Redwood City and our partners.

The City of Redwood City is dedicated to keeping runoff water clean with various water pollution prevention programs, such as cleanups that keep our waterways clear. Community volunteers and City staff recently removed over seven pickup truck loads of trash — over 4,000 pounds — from our creeks and shorelines at two annual clean-up events. Sometimes other sources of pollution are overlooked, such as urban storm water runoff and hazardous gardening chemicals. It is important to recognize that these contribute to water pollution and to take preventative action.

There are many ways you can work with the City, along with its partner San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program (SMCWPPP), to protect our waterways and keep our community healthy.

What You Can Do at Home

o Never dump anything down storm drains, even raked leaves

o Move your car on street-sweeping days to keep debris out of storm drains

o Pick up litter and cigarette butts

o Clean up after your pet

o Bring your car to a car wash

o Install a rain barrel

o Use less toxic pest control products

City and Partner Services and Programs

Expanded Street Sweeping

o Move your car during Expanded Street Sweeping to keep storm drains clean and free of debris that flows right to the Bay

Recycling/Disposing of Hazardous Materials

o Recycle and compost to reduce litter and organics that end up in our waterways. Learn more here.

o Take your own bags to shop and avoid products with polystyrene packaging. Learn more here: Polystyrene ordinance and Single Use Bag Ordinance

o Participate in Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off and Shred events (see more event details below) to dispose of toxins properly and reduce litter

o Find information on properly disposing hazardous waste or recycling mercury-containing products, including fluorescent lamps light bulbs, thermostats, batteries and more. In order to prevent contamination of fish, it is no longer legal to dispose any of these wastes as trash with your regular garbage.

Clean-ups, Gardening Techniques, Other Opportunities

o Volunteer for the Pride and Beautification Committee’s Annual Spring and Fall Clean-ups (see the Earth Day Clean Up and the Coastal Clean Up events below) of the Creeks and Shorelines

o Take Gardening and Water Conservation Classes to learn how to reduce toxins in pest and weed control and engage in Bay Friendly Gardening practices — find more classes here.

o Visit online resources — in coordination with Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) and SMCWPPP — that encourage and promote watershed protection:

o Pet Waste Bags

o Car Wash Coupons

o Rain Barrel Rebates

Education Events

SMCWPPP invites you to stop by informational booths at major events this summer in Redwood City and learn about ways to keep our water clean — and get cool eco-friendly gifts! Additional storm water and watershed information is provided, such as guides to eating fish and shellfish in the Bay Area (including State health advisories about mercury contaminates in fish making them unsafe to eat).

Public Events and Activities

For those interested in reducing pollution that can impact our watershed, here are some upcoming events and activities:

o Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Events — Next are March 25, April 29, July 22

o Demystifying Your Irrigation System class — May 6, 2017

o Redwood City Annual Spring Clean Up — May 13, 2017

o Redwood City Shred Event — May 20, 2017

o Coastal Cleanup Day — September 16, 2017

o Household Hazardous Waste Program — Year-Round (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays)

o Rethink Waste Recycling and Compost Programs and Events — Ongoing

To learn more about these and other programs, go here. For other resources, follow SMCWPPP on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for their newsletter.