Wednesday May 4, 2022


As part of its “Let’s Change This to That” public education campaign, Caltrans today is sharing the top sources of stormwater pollution and ways to prevent them from contaminating California’s waterways. As stormwater travels into storm drains, it captures pollutants from highways, streets, sidewalks and yards that flow into waterways. The top six pollutants have an outsized impact on the water quality of lakes, rivers, streams and the ocean, and many are preventable through small actions Californians can take.

The following lists the top six pollutants and actions to stop them at the source:

  • Trash and litter: Properly secure items in truck beds and put trash and recycling in the correct bin.
  • Sediments: Prevent soil erosion by using mulch in the garden, planting trees and shrubs, and sweeping driveways instead of hosing them off.
  • Nutrients: Avoid overfertilizing lawns and plants and limit vegetation waste by keeping fallen leaves out of storm drains.
  • Bacteria: Limit pet and RV waste by picking up after your pet and using appropriate RV dumping stations.
  • Metals: Regularly check tire pressure, change oil and fluids, and use commercial car washes to prevent metals generated from vehicle, tire, and brake wear from ending up on highways.
  • Pesticides: Use organic pesticides and properly dispose of unused portions.

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