As the rainy season finally comes to a late close for Spring 2011, it is time to consider ways Rocklin residents and business can improve water quality in our local creeks and streams during the dry season. Small changes in household chores, for example, can make a difference! Water, debris, and chemicals that go down the gutter and into the street and parking lot drains do not go to a wastewater treatment plant. It all flows directly into our open space, creeks and streams. Rocklin’s waterways are salmon and trout habitat and are part of the Dry Creek and Pleasant Grove watersheds. Be part of Rocklin’s Pollution Solution, Conserve water • Use automatic irrigation systems to water landscaping for shorter periods only as often as necessary. • Only water landscaping in the early morning or after dark to reduce evaporation. • Be sure not to overwater. Overwatering can send additional sediment and chemicals into the storm drain system that contaminate the creeks and streams. • For more information visit Placer County Water Agency’s Water Use Efficiency webpage at: www.pcwa.net/level3/efficiency.html. • Plant native and drought-tolerant plants. For information about these plants and where to buy them visit The Garden Spot at www.bewaterwise.com. For an online California native plant landscape design tool visit www.mynativeplants.com/site. Use landscaping chemicals carefully • Apply lawn care and other landscape chemicals per package instructions. • Do not over water after using chemicals — more of the chemicals are washed into the storm drain system and creeks and they do not stay around to do their job. • Choose alternatives to control pests, such as lady bugs and non-toxic chemicals. • For more information visit the Our Water Our World website at www.ourwaterourworld.org. Properly dispose of pet waste • Pick up after your pet every time. Bacteria in pet waste can make people sick and pollute our creeks and streams. • Reuse plastic bags or purchase biodegradable bags from your local pet store. • Throw pet waste in a garbage can or flush it down a toilet. Never wash it into landscaping or the gutter. • Get a free Bags on Board pet waste bag dispenser when you get a new or renewed dog license! In the City of Rocklin, all dogs over the age of four months must be licensed. For more information visit www.rocklin.ca.us/government/police/records/permits_n_licenses/animal_licenses/d efault.asp. Properly dispose of household waste • Always throw garbage in a designated receptacle. • Recycle whenever possible. • Sweep driveways and sidewalks instead of hosing them off. Put leaves and grass clippings in the garbage or compost. • Never rinse yardcare equipment or flush debris into the gutter. • Never flush paint, household chemicals, solvents, and similar hazardous household waste into the gutter. • Dispose of hazardous household waste by taking it to a City-sponsored Universal Waste event. For more information visit the city’s Recycling webpage at www.rocklin.ca.us/residents/new_to_the_city/recycling.asp. Take it to the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) run by the Western Placer Waste Management Authority (WPWMA). For more information visit the WPMPA website at www.wpwma.com. Recycle • In Rocklin, we have One Big Bin. That means you can throw recyclables directly in your garbage toter or can. There is no need to sort or separate. They are diverted out of the landfill at the MRF. For more information go to www.OneBigBin.com • Used household batteries can not go in the garbage! Bring them to a local collection site and look for the green collection tubes. For a list of collection sites visit the City’s Recycling webpage at www.rocklin.ca.us/residents/new_to_the_city/recycling.asp Properly drain swimming pools • Do not drain swimming pools or spas directly into the gutter—even small amounts of chlorine can upset the balance of plant and animal life in creeks and streams. • For more information visit the City’s Pool Water webpage at www.rocklin.ca.us/government/works/pollution/pool_water.asp.