ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY CAR WASHES
It's hard to believe that washing your car can harm the environment, but when you wash your car in the driveway, pollutants from dirty water such as detergent, motor oil, gas and residue from exhaust fumes make their way into nearby storm drains. These pollutants flow through the storm drain system and drain into local creeks and rivers, without filtration. The pollutants that end up flowing into creeks and rivers may end up harming fish and other wildlife. To help protect our creeks and rivers, the following practices are suggested for the next time your car needs a bath:
Take your car to a commercial carwash - most commercial car wash facilities recycle water or are connected to the sanitary sewer system that will treat dirty water
Wash your car on a grass or gravel surface to filter runoff
Consider using environmentally-friendly products labeled "non-toxic," "phosphate free" and "biodegradable"
Conserve water by using a spray nozzle with an automatic shut off or shutting off the hose when not in use
Use a bucket of soapy water to re-soap rags or sponges throughout the wash rather than adding more soap directly to rags or sponges; Always empty buckets of dirty wash water onto landscaped areas (where the water cannot reach a storm drain) or into sinks or toilets
FINDING A GREEN GARDENER
Why should I hire a Green Gardener Trained Professional? Green Gardener training combines cutting-edge technology with ecologically sound landscape maintenance practices. The qualified Green Gardener conscientiously adheres to the River-Friendly Landscape Guidelines and will have successfully completed 10 weeks of intensive training examining complex subjects such as:
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Right Plant in the Right Place
Water Efficient Irrigation
Pruning for Plant Health
Mulches and Compost
To find a local certified Green Gardener, visit the Regional Water Authority (RWA) Web site.
WATER ACCORDING TO SEASONAL NEEDS
Change the watering time on your irrigation controller to match the seasonal changes and season water needs of plants. (For example: Plants from Mediterranean-type climates that are also suited to our region are accustomed to wet winters and dry summers.) Set your irrigation system to water your lawn every third day during the hottest months of the year. In the spring and autumn months, you can generally water less often when temperatures are typically cooler.
Watering deeply - just a few days a week - encourages stronger root growth and a better-looking lawn. For areas of your landscape that is irrigations by sprinklers, water between midnight and 10 a.m. Watering during these times minimizes evaporation and, since water systems use energy, this also puts less strain on the power grid. Stop watering when it rains: Install a rain shut-off device on your automatic sprinklers to eliminate unnecessary watering. They are inexpensive and available at most home improvement stores.
For more information, visit the RWA's Be Water Smart Web site.
California Department of Water Resources
California Water Commission
Citrus Heights Water District
Sacramento Suburban Water District
California American Water Company