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The original item was published from 5/21/2015 1:28:00 PM to 6/1/2015 12:05:03 AM.

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Posted on: May 21, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Puget Sound Starts Here: Protect Local Waterways

May is Puget Sound Starts Here Month, a great opportunity for our community to celebrate the value of Puget Sound and take steps to protect local waterways.

Every year, millions of pounds of toxic pollutants enter Puget Sound. Much of that pollution comes from polluted runoff — or rainwater that picks up dog poop, fertilizers and pesticides, oil and many other contaminants along the way.

This polluted water then flows through ditches or storm drains and into local waterways. Most of this polluted runoff is not treated in a wastewater treatment plant and empties directly into Puget Sound.

Here are some simple things you can do to help protect our local waterways and Puget Sound:

• Pick up pet waste and place it in the trash.

• Maintain your septic system or side sewer.

• Never dump anything — liquid or solid — into a storm drain or drainage ditch.

• Use natural yard products like compost and mulch. If you use chemical pesticides and fertilizers, follow the directions and use them sparingly.

• Store and dispose of household chemicals according to the instructions on the label.

• Landscape your yard with native plants and trees that soak up rain and slow the flow of runoff.

• Take your car to a commercial car wash instead of washing it in your driveway.

• Fix auto leaks right away and take any used fluids to a recycling center.

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