Northwest NEWS

August 9, 1999

Home & Garden

Don't let water quality go down the drain this summer

   Car washing hits prime time during the summer months and unfortunately, so does the level of soap, detergents, oil, and road grime in local streams, lakes, and rivers.

   If you're not washing your car on your lawn or taking it to a commercial car wash, chances are that soapy water (and everything that you've washed off your car) is headed straight for fish habitat in your neighborhood. And all soaps, even biodegradable ones, are toxic to fish.

   If you're washing multiple cars at a car wash fundraiser, contact Bob Spencer at 206-296-1951 and check out a free car wash kit. Wash water is kept out of the storm drain system through a simple arrangement that allows the dirty water to be captured and pumped to the sanitary sewer for treatment.

   You can also stencil storm drains with the message, "Dump No Waste, Drains to Stream." This is a great project for kids and now is the best time of year to get out in your neighborhood and do it. If you'd like to get involved in this fish-friendly activity, call Petra MacGowan at 206-322-9296.