220 Fourth Avenue South, Kent WA 98032 - (253) 856-5200

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The Official Website of the City of Kent

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OUR MISSION: Improve the city’s water quality and resource through education, outreach and public participation   
OUR GOAL: Reduce or eliminate behaviors and practices that contribute to water pollution in the city of Kent, Washington 

Visit us on facebook: www.facebook.com/cleanwaterproject like 

 

May 10th is "Puget Sounds Starts Here" Night at the Mariners. Get a free T-shirt when you enter the promor code!

Learn more at:

PugetSoundStartsHere  


 

When it rains, it...Pollutes

 

As rain falls on our city and lands on the roads, driveways, parking lots, and other surfaces that cannot absorb water, it picks up pollutants and carries them to our drains, lakes, rivers and streams. The primary source for the majority of these pollutants has been traced back to the daily activities of people living in developed residential areas (Envirovision et al. 2008).

 

However, there is good news! Actions such as picking up our pet waste, conducting regular maintenance on our vehicles, proper application of yard care products, and the timely reporting of spills can help to keep our waterways clean.

 

For more information on these topics see the tabs below:

 

For extended research visit The Clean Water Project Reference Page 

 

It's true, pets go poo

Background: Chances are you've been walking down the street, or out in the grass, and stepped in a big pile of dog doodie. It can be smelly and messy, but it can also have some pretty dangerous bacteria living in it. This bacteria, called fecal coliform, could make you sick, and it has the ability to pollute our groundwater, lakes, rivers, and streams. In fact, one study done in 1993 found that pet and animal waste was responsible for 95% of the fecal coliform found in urban stormwater (Trial et al. 1993)! 

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Doodie by the numbers:

27,193 = the estimated number of dogs living in the city of Kent.  

1/2 pound = the average weight of a doggy doo.

13,596 pounds = the weight of all the doggy doo made in Kent each day

 

 This much POOP would cause a dumptruck to overflow! dumptruck 

soapy waterAttack of the killer suds!

Remember, when you're washing your car, you're not just washing your car. According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, 140,000 lbs of toxic chemicals enter Puget Sound every day! Chemicals such as oil, copper from brakes, zinc from tires, and various petroleum products are rinsed off of vehicles from irresponsible car washing (Ecology, 2011).

 

When the suds make it into your storm drain they flow right into our lakes, rivers, and streams. When these suds make it to the river they strip the protective coatings right off the fish, causing adult fish to absorb 2x the amount of toxins they would normally. Even the tiniest bit of detergent can kill a large number of fish eggs (Riversides Stewardship Alliance, 2002).

Washing at home

Cars get dirty. It's a simple truth. If you need to wash your car at home try at least one of the following techniques:car_wash 

1. Pull it up onto the lawn or a gravel driveway:

When you wash your car on the grass or the gravel you're allowing the dirt to filter out all the dust, grime, and soap in the washwater. This keeps harmful chemicals from entering the storm drains and polluting our rivers.

2. Take your car to a commercial car wash

Commercial car washes are designed to conserve water and send polluted water to the sanitary sewer where it can be treated. If you wash your car at one of these locations you may save money on water and reduce stormwater pollution.

Charity car wash options:

If you're going to have a car wash to raise money please consider these options (in many cases you can actually raise more money!):

1. Sell car wash tickets

You buy the tickets cheap, sell them at a profit, and keep the difference! Commercial car washes conserve water and treat the dirty water, preventing all those scary soaps from reaching our rivers, lakes and streams. Go here to find out more:

- Brown Bear Car Wash 

- Puget Sound Car Wash Association 

2. Call the city of Kent to find out about getting a car wash kit: (253) 856-5537

 

Natural yard care

Natural yard care is a great way to protect water quality and the environment and it creates a landscape that is safer for you and your family. Here are five easy steps to remember when practicing natural yard care:

 Compost 

 

  1. Build Healthy Soil

  2. Plant Right for Your Site
  3. Practice Smart Watering
  4. Think Twice Before Using Pesticides
  5. Practice Natural Lawn Care

compost!! 

Leaves, stalks, flowers and grass, and some kitchen scraps can make a great compost. All you need to do is create a pile in your yard or compost bin to keep your pile in and keep it moist (add water if necessary). In about 6 months time you will have compost that will naturally feed your plants!

Mulch!!

Mulch is organic materials such as leaves, wood chips, grass and compost that you can spread around your plants in the fall and spring. Mulch helps to retain water, naturally feeds your plants and helps to prevent weeds!    

plant native!!

There are many benefits to planting grasses, fowers, shrubs and trees that are indigenous to the Pacific Northwest. Native plants grow best in our region's climate conditions which means they require less watering and fertilizer which saves you time and money and also helps the environment. Below are just a few plants that are both beautiful and native to our area:

 

 Camas, Common Chocolate Lilly Orange Honeysuckle Pacific Rhododendron Wood Sorrel 

 

Other tips to promote plant growth naturally include:

 

 Get to know your yard - familiarize yourself with the areas on your property that get a lot of sun as well as those areas that get less sun or possibly a lot of shade. Plant the types of vegetation that grow best under those circumstances.

 

Pick plants that use less water - there are many types of plants available that are catagorized as "low water use" or "drought tolerant." Once these types of plants become established (which takes about 2 to 5 years) they can be maintained by the natural rainfall which saves time and water.

 

Group plants based on their needs - group the types of plant that require frequent watering together. This allows you to conserve water.

 

Check out the Natural Yard Care website for more information and resources.

Is your tool Shed full of unused, expired chemicals?

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When partially used chemicals are stuffed to the back of the shed, they get forgotten, packaging starts to deteriorate and these dangerous materials can leach into the ground or worse, into the stormwater system.  

 

The proper storage of these chemical can help protect water quality and human health. These actions may help: 

  1. Check caps, lids, and covers to make sure they are on securely. This will prevent liquids from spilling if they’re accidently knocked over.
  2. Put ‘like’ chemicals in larger buckets. This way if anything leaks it will be contained by the bucket and will be easier to clean up. 
  3. Purchase chemicals responsibly:  
    1. Buy the least amount necessary to complete the job.
    2. Look for the least hazardous option. Many popular secondary containmentsynthetic chemicals have plant derived alternatives. While these plant based alternatives may be labeled ‘natural’ that does not mean they are safe for humans or for our local waterways. Always refer to the safety instructions on the labels. 
  4. Dispose of Chemicals properly:  
    1. Check expiration dates periodically, and take those materials to the appropriate location. The Wastemobile takes household hazardous waste. A list of their hours and locations can be found here

There are some great resources in King County for the disposal of Household Hazardous Waste. Explore their website for more information and resources.

 

Most importantly if you see any type of dumping, spills, or pollution - report it.  

Spill Reporting Form 

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