Every time you make the right choice to reduce chemicals at home or to visit a commercial car wash, your actions make a difference and ultimately positively influence your community.
Chemical Use and Disposal
The proper use and disposal of chemicals is very important to your health. Many household chemicals are very harmful, especially if they are released into streams and/or lakes. The proper use and disposal of chemicals is required by law.
For information and guidance as to how to use and dispose of chemicals and hazardous waste, please visit the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program page.
Education & Resources
The City of Lake Forest Park works hard to offer its citizens education and information regarding chemical use and overall chemical reduction in the home. There are many resources available to assist residents in reducing their chemical loads. Some of these resources include:
Clean Storm Drains Help:
The City works to keep storm drains clear, but with close to 1,800 drains in Lake Forest Park, we could use your help. Storm drains are normally rectangular grates with slats typically located near the edge of the street. They collect water which then flows directly to the nearest stream or lake. The water that enters the storm drains is not treated.
Volunteer By Storm Drain Labeling or Adopt-a-Drain
Storm Drain Labeling
Across the Puget Sound, municipalities are working with residents to implement storm drain labeling activities. The program is simple: call the City, pick up your materials, and get to work labeling your storm drains. The goal is to foster awareness of the connection between what we do at home, what goes down the drain, and how our actions impact our water systems.
Washing your car in the driveway may be the most harmful household chore you perform because it releases chemicals that have accumulated from driving. These chemicals include:
In addition, the soaps used contain phosphates and other chemicals that can harm fish and other organisms. Next time you need to wash your car consider the following alternatives:
1) Visit a commercial car wash. It is an environmentally-friendly alternative because the water at a car wash is typically used more than once and is discharged into the sanitary sewer system for treatment.
2) If you cannot visit a commercial car wash, wash your car on your lawn or any vegetated surface because chemicals and soap will infiltrate into the soil rather than flowing directly into streams.
Vehicle Leaks & Maintenance 101
Leaking vehicles are a serious problem in urban areas. Fluids that leak from vehicles include oil and anti-freeze (heavy metals) which enter our streams and Lake Washington without treatment.
To reduce your environmental impact you can fix leaking vehicles, drive less, and regularly maintain your vehicles. Don't forget to recycle your used motor oil and other fluids.
For more maintenance information and eco-care vehicle tips, visit:
Improper lawn/plant fertilization application can hurt streams, lakes, and wetlands in Lake Forest Park. Please use the following protocol to help you fertilize your gardens & lawns properly:
Native Planting & Composting
Did you know that when you plant species native to the Northwest you are supporting your local ecosystem? An ecosystem is comprised of all facets of life that work together to sustain life in a region. By keeping the natural environment in mind when landscaping, you are helping wildlife, plants, trees, water bodies and insects living in Lake Forest Park sustain life and thrive.
In addition to native planting, using compost is another way to support your local ecosystem. For more information about composting and soils, visit Compost & Healthy Soils.
Apple Maggot Control in Backyards
Since first detected in 1979 in Portland, Oregon, the apple maggot has spread and infested apples in many parts of the Pacific Northwest. Homeowners may want to rethink growing apples and other fruit trees. Many spray products labeled for homeowner use on fruit trees have been canceled. While apple maggot can render the fruit on your apple tree inedible, pockets of unsprayed “backyard” trees pose a serious threat to the commercial apple industry in the Northwest.
Failing septic systems release untreated waste into our groundwater and on the ground. The untreated waste contains viruses and pathogens that are harmful to our health and water quality. Indicators for a failing septic system include: