Good Housekeeping Best Management Practices

Gardening & Landscaping
  • Use only the amount of gardening chemicals you need. Check out "green" gardening chemicals at local retailers and consider alternative methods.
  • Use only the water you need. Check sprinklers to ensure that you don't waste water - and money - by watering the sidewalk.
  • Cover any stockpiles of dirt or mulch before it rains or gets windy.
  • Select native plants and grasses that are drought and pest resistant. Native plants require less water and fertilizer.
  • Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces and onto lawns and other vegetated areas to increase infiltration and reduce polluted runoff.
  • Control soil erosion on your property by planting ground cover and stabilizing erosion-prone areas.
  • Eliminate toxic pesticides or use less toxic alternatives for a healthy home and garden. See the Our Water Our World Program website for more information.
Pet Waste
  • Pet waste is very harmful to humans, so clean up after you pets and dispose of pet waste in a trash bin.
Driveways & Sidewalks
  • Sweep off driveways and sidewalks rather than hosing them down. Dispose of the waste in trash bins.
Car, Lawnmower & Equipment Maintenance
  • Properly dispose of hazardous materials such as:
  • Catch any fluid leaks using a drip pan.
  • Clean up spills with absorbents like cat litter, then dispose of them properly. Do Not use a hose to wash spills into the storm drains!
  • Wash your car at a commercial / coin-operated car wash where wash water is treated and recycled. If you must wash it at home, use soap and detailing products with care.
  • Try to divert the water to a vegetated area.
Washing Your Car at Home
  • Use a bucket and biodegradable soap.
  • Use as little soap and water as possible.
  • Look for products that don't contain nonylphenol surfactants, which act as endocrine disrupters and change the sex of fish, and phosphates, which contribute to algal blooms and low oxygen levels in waterways.
  • Use a trigger spray nozzle to control water flow from the hose and reduce water use.
  • Wash the car on a grassy area or other porous surface where soil microbes and vegetation can filter and break down pollutants and keep wash water out of the street and storm drains.
  • Direct wash water into a landscaped area or vacuum it up with a shopvac rather than allowing it to run into the street.
  • When you are done dump your bucket of soapy water into a sink, drain, or toilet that goes to the city's wastewater treatment plant.
Home Repair & Improvement
  • Before beginning an outdoor project, be aware of the nearest storm drains and protect them from loose debris and other material.
  • Sweep-up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar.
  • Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents, and cleaners in the smallest amounts possible and follow manufacturer directions. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of the waste safely.
  • Store substances properly to avoid leaks and spills.
  • Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled, and recyclable products whenever possible.
  • Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Filter and reuse paint thinner when using oil-based paints. Properly dispose of excess paints at an approved location from Integrated Waste Management Waste Authority's website.