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Be careful what you put down storm drains

Celebrate Rivers Day on September 24.

Do you know why there is a yellow fish on many storm drains? The yellow fish is a reminder that any runoff into storm drains eventually runs into our rivers, streams, and fish habitat. Anything that enters storm drains is not treated and can pollute our watersheds. Salts, fuels, pesticides, mud, soap, and many other contaminants can make their way into streams and aquatic habitats.

Here’s some tips on how you can do your part to protect our local wildlife, aquatic habitats, and watersheds:
#1: Wash your vehicle at a commercial car wash where the waste water is treated, or on a gravel or vegetative spot, such as grass, so the dirt or sediment can be filtered before entering the drain. Use biodegradable soap when washing vehicles.
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#2: When riding your dirt bike or quad, keep away from creeks and catch basins. Make sure you wash your dirt bike or quad at the commercial car wash or on the lawn.
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#3: Ensure any trash or litter is picked up and properly disposed as aquatic life and wildlife can ingest or become smothered from these hazardous materials.
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#4: Check your vehicle consistently for leaks and have them repaired right away. Recycle any old oil, gasoline, and other chemicals at an approved recycling facility. Prevent any spillage when filling up at the gas station.
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#5: On construction sites, install erosion and sediment control measures to protect aquatic environments from construction site runoff.
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Want to get involved in the program to mark storm drains with Gil the yellow fish? Contact REAPS to get involved and help protect our watersheds:

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