Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It isn’t easy to get people to agree about most things. Usually someone can be counted on to disagree for one strange reason or another. But I am willing to bet that at this point in time (almost) everyone can agree on the following.  At the end of this long and miserable winter, we are all glad to see the snow gone from our streets, parks and sidewalks.  (Yes or No?).  And the second point is that we are all looking forward to summer and all of us would like to see cleaner water in Alley Creek and Little Neck Bay.  (Yes or No?). 
It is hard to disagree with either of these ideas even if you are the essence of disagreeableness.

Well these two ideas are not unrelated.  As the last of the snow disappears,  it leaves behind a substantial residue of plowed up litter, organics, sediment and anything else that may have been buried beneath the snow. The snow is finally gone but the residue remains and much of it is concentrated right on curbside.  The spring rains are not far away and these residues are headed down the street, into the sewers and out in the ‘first flush” to our local waterways.  In this valley, storm water discharges are as important or in some cases more important than other kinds of discharges.  Where we have storm sewers (and that is almost everywhere) what is on the streets soon finds its way into our waterways. 

But here is a simple solution.  Act quickly.  Don’t let this just happen.  Now is the very best time for a community to take a quick action step. 

Very simply put:     Clean streets now = Clean waters later. 

(Anyone want to disagree with that logic?)

Every pound, every ounce, every speck of dirt that we pick up from our streets now is that much less washing into our waterways.  It is so simple and so easy. If every homeowner, school, business, dog walker, property owner – every person- would just clean their little section of street we would ALL share in the improvement of water quality this coming summer.   

I noticed how dirty the streets looked as soon as the snow melted on my corner.  A broom, a shovel and a garbage can were all I needed to do this easy job. Didn’t cost me anything and I enjoyed what I was doing. It only took me about 15 minutes to prevent about 50 lbs of ‘stuff’ from washing down the drain. 

These two pictures tell the story. 

The only thing I underestimated is that I needed two bags instead of one but that’s OK. 
Better to have clean street and litter in two bags, than having all of this winter residue washing out to Little Neck Bay.

1 comment:

  1. Hi APPWNP,

    First visit to your Blog and this current posting about sweeping along our curb to keep our water cleaner hits the nail right on the head! Looking forward to perusing through your previous APPWNP postings.

    Bill, GTG