As a resident or business owner in La Habra there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent stormwater pollution.
Keep your vehicles in good running order and perform routine maintenance to prevent leaks from oil and other car fluids. Leaks from vehicles on the ground often times are a primary source of pollution in runoff.
If you have a spill, don't hose it down into the gutter or storm drains. The best thing to do is to clean it up with absorbent materials such as kitty litter, and promptly dispose of the material after the spill has been absorbed.
Take your vehicle to a car wash instead of washing at home. If you choose to wash at home, divert the wash water onto your lawn or garden and use a biodegradable, phosphate-free detergent. Also, using a bucket (not a running hose) to wash and rinse your car conserves water.
Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients are considered to be Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). Not only is it unsafe to dispose of HHW improperly, it is illegal.
Simply drop them off at a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center (HHWCC) for free disposal and recycling. There are four HHWCCs in Orange County. Visit Public Works' Hazardous Waste page to learn more about the collection center locations.
Make sure your pool is algae free and de-chlorinated before pumping to the street. Please do not drain your salt water pools to the street. Salt water negatively impacts our native flora and fauna. Fresh water animals (such as frogs and tadpoles) will not survive any influx of salt water into their habitats.
Sweeping or raking up garden debris and recycling it as green waste is better for the environment. Grasscycling reduces thatch, improves the soil and reduces fertilizer requirements while compost releases nutrients slowly and creates healthier soil and plants. To learn more, visit the Public Works Department's Grasscycling page.
Use fertilizers sparingly and don't fertilize near ditches, streams, or other water bodies. Improve the health of your soil by adding compost and using organic mulches. Consider using organic fertilizers, since they release nutrients more slowly. Leave grass clippings on your lawn as a natural fertilizer.
Use non-toxic pesticide alternatives whenever possible. Organic Pesticides are a good option. Integrated Pest Management is also a great long term solution for your garden.
Pick up after your pets. Pet waste from dogs and cats if left on yours or someone else's lawn can easily end up in the storm drain and pollute the waters they enter.