We all live in a watershed. On Joint Base Lewis-McChord, ours is the Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed.
When water falls or flows over JBLM, it ends up in creeks, lakes, streams and the Puget Sound. Simple choices in our daily activities affect the quality of water we drink, we play in and the water that fish and other wildlife rely on.
Rainwater runoff (or stormwater runoff) picks up potential pollutants like cigarette butts, animal waste, chemical fertilizers, motor oil, eroded topsoil and other pollutants and carries them directly into the waters where we fish and play.
Some pollutants may even seep through the ground into our drinking water on JBLM.
In a very rainy place like ours, there is a lot of stormwater to manage. The Directorate of Public Works on JBLM designs facilities to capture the water in places where plants, soil mixtures, and other media can help treat it before it infiltrates into the ground.
Some things you can do at home to protect our waters and the Puget Sound:
• Don’t let your pooch pollute. Clean up after your pets. Scoop it, bag it and trash it every time.
• Use a commercial car wash. Washing your privately owned vehicle in the housing area on JBLM is not allowed. A commercial car wash uses less water and treats dirty water before it goes down the drain.
• If you want to hold a car washing fundraiser, consider selling tickets instead. Tickets can be sold rain or shine and your group will be preserving our water quality. Puget Sound Car Wash Associations website has details at charitycarwash.org.
• Don’t drip and drive. Vehicle leaks shorten the life of your ride and are a major source of stormwater pollution. Visit fixcarleaks.org for a $50 coupon for leak repairs.
• Household hazardous waste should never be poured down the drain, onto the ground, into storm sewers or thrown in the trash. JBLM housing residents can bring their household hazardous waste to the Environmental Operations Building, 1210 Mann Ave., weekdays from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
To keep up to date with latest environmental happenings on JBLM, visit SustainableJBLM/Facebook.