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The original item was published from 9/11/2019 3:13:42 PM to 1/6/2020 5:35:00 PM.

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Posted on: September 11, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Four Tips to Help Protect the Watershed and Water Quality

Logo of Streets to Creeks on blue background

 Did you know that the storm drains in our streets flow directly into local creeks and ultimately into the Russian River? The Russian River watershed is a rich and diverse region of nearly 1,500 square miles in Mendocino and Sonoma counties.

And Healdsburg is part of a coalition of cities, counties, towns, and special districts raising awareness about the public’s impact on our watershed and water quality and how everyone can help limit pollution and be part of the solution.

The “Streets to Creeks” campaign centers around a simple reminder – Storm Drains Connect Streets to Creeks and emphasizes that all members of the community share a responsibility – Ours to Protect.

Here are four easy ways to protect creeks that make a big impact on water quality and creek health.

Car Washing: Washing your car at a professional car wash is ideal, where waste water is captured and treated or recycled. If you wash at home, divert water to where it can soak into the ground, like a lawn or planter strip. Use a bucket and empty soapy wash water into a sink.  Remember, any water that goes into the gutter, goes directly into our creeks untreated.

Pet Waste: Scoop the poop. Sure, it’s the neighborly thing to do on a walk, but managing pet waste in your backyard is important too. Scoop, and toss pet poop into your garbage bin before water has a chance to transport pollutants (i.e. bacteria) it into a backyard drain, that flows untreated to a nearby storm drain.

Yard Care: When tending to your yard or garden, check the weather and your watering schedule. Runoff from rain, or even irrigation, can wash fertilizer, herbicides, landscape materials, compost, and leaf debris into the storm drain, causing potential impacts to our local creeks. Remember – timing is everything.

Trash: Pick up all trash you see in the street before water or wind arrives and carries it to a nearby storm drain. If it is out of the street, it is away from our creeks.

To learn more about how you can help, please go to: and

The Russian River Watershed Association (RRWA) is a coalition of eleven cities, counties and special districts in the Russian River watershed that coordinates regional programs for clean water, habitat restoration, and watershed enhancement.

The RRWA is composed of: the City of Cloverdale, City of Cotati, City of Healdsburg, City of Rohnert Park, City of Santa Rosa, City of Sebastopol, City of Ukiah, County of Sonoma, Russian River Watershed Association, Sonoma County Water Agency, and the Town of Windsor.

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