Water Pollution Facts

Water Pollution Fact #1: Water from rain, storm drains, and ditches flows directly to streams and bays with little or no treatment. Storm drains and ditches are DIFFERENT than sewers. They are NOT CONNECTED to a treatment plant.

Water Pollution Fact #2: We all live in a watershed. What you do on your property does affect streams, even if you donít live on a stream. A watershed is an area of land which drains to the lowest point, usually a stream or bay.

Water Pollution Fact #3: Small amounts of contaminants from all over the land add up to cause pollution in our water. Yes, even the little things matter. You WILL make a difference, no matter how small, if you change the way you do some things.

Water Pollution Fact #4: Failing septic systems pollute. Untreated wastewater from failing septic systems can contaminate nearby streams, drinking water sources, and bays.

Water Pollution Fact #5: Soap from washing your car at home pollutes. Soap and dirt from washing your car can flow through our storm drains and ditches and end up in our streams untreated.

Water Pollution Fact #6: Soap from charity car washes can pollute if not handled properly.

Water Pollution Fact #7: Oil and antifreeze from leaking cars pollutes. When it rains, water runs over the ground and picks up oil, antifreeze, and other pollutants and carries them to our streams and bays.

Water Pollution Fact #8: Garden and lawn chemicals pollute. Common pesticides and fertilizers have been found in neighborhood streams in the Puget Sound Region.

Water Pollution Fact #9: Household cleaners and chemicals can pollute. Cleaners and chemicals used or disposed of outside can end up in our streams and bays. These same cleaners and chemicals can cause harm to septic systems and wastewater treatment plants.

Water Pollution Fact #10: Pet waste pollutes our water. Pet waste contributed to the pollution that closed some shellfish beds in Kitsap County.

Water Pollution Fact #11: Waste from livestock pollutes our water. When it rains, water runs over fields and pastures and can carry harmful bacteria from livestock waste to streams and provides unwanted fertilizer in streams.

Water Pollution Fact #12: Driveways and walkways can be sources of water pollution. Oil, antifreeze, and other pollutants can collect on your driveway. If you hose down the driveway, the water carries all these pollutants to the streams.

Water Pollution Fact # 13: Lawn clippings and yard waste in ravines and ponds can become unwanted fertilizer for streams. Too much plant growth in streams can use up all the oxygen and kill fish and aquatic life.

Water Pollution Fact # 14: Too much soil in runoff can pollute. Soil from erosion carries pollutants and smothers salmon eggs in spawning gravel.

Water Pollution Fact # 15: Sewage from boating can pollute. Untreated sewage is a significant risk to human health and wildlife.

Water Pollution Fact # 16: Boat and engine maintenance can pollute. Toxic chemicals, oils, cleaners, and paint scrapings from boat maintenance can make their way into the water.

Water Pollution Fact # 17: Oil and antifreeze pollute our water when disposed of improperly. Oil and antifreeze that are spilled during maintenance or are dumped on the ground can be carried by runoff to our streams and bays.

Water Pollution Fact # 18: Waste from household repairs can pollute our water. Contractors and service people must properly dispose of chemicals and water used during their work.

Water Pollution Fact # 19: Littering pollutes. Litter thrown on the ground can end up in our storm drains, ditches, and streams.

Water Pollution Fact # 20: The things we do everyday contribute to over half the pollution in Puget Sound. Litter thrown on the ground can end up in our storm drains, ditches, and streams.

For information on stormwater issues in the City of Bremerton, please call the Department of Public Works Customer Response Line at (360) 473-5920.

Brought to you by the Kitsap Stormwater Consortium and Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team. For more information call 360-337-5777 or 800-825-4940.

The Kitsap Stormwater Education Consortium is made up of the Kitsap County outreach and Education Coordinator, the City of Bremerton Public Works & Utilities, the City of Bainbridge Island Water Resources Coordinator, the Bremerton-Kitsap County Health District, the Kitsap Conservation District and the Naval Submarine Base Bangor. Funding for market research and advertising was provided by these agencies and grants from the Department of Ecology Centennial Clean Water Fund and Puget Sound Water Quality Action Teamís Public Involvement and Education Fund.