Tips for Controlling “Non-Point Source” Water Pollution . . .

pictured: a watercourse not properly fenced and protected from livestock pollution

When the winter rains hit, we are reminded big-time what falls from the sky seeps into the ground or eventually flows to the sea.

Surface pollutants from a variety of sources (i.e. non-point source) can contaminate waterways and groundwater. Please make sure you are not part of the problem.

How Can I Be Part of the Solution?

  1. Around your home:
  • reduce use of household hazardous products and use environmentally friendly alternatives. Here on Gabriola in BC, contact GIRO or check out the BC Product Stewardshipsite and contact info. to find out how to safely dispose of hazardous products
  • check and repair fluid leaks from your vehicle
  • reduce or eliminate use of fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn and garden
  • water your lawn and garden sparingly
  1. For septic-system users:
  • have your sewage system inspected and pumped out regularly
  • don’t put solids or toxic chemicals down the drain
  • compost as much kitchen waste as possible
  • don’t put heavy objects or vehicles on the septic field
  1. For boaters:
  • don’t release sewage in marinas, bays or inlets. Install a holding tank and use pump-out stations where available
  • use biodegradable products to clean your boat
  • keep motors well maintained to prevent fuel and lubricant leaks
  1. Around your farm or ranch:
  • reduce or eliminate use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Follow instructions and provincial application guidelines carefully. Consider using natural pest control methods.
  • construct adequate manure storage facilities and follow manure spreading guidelines
  • prevent horses, alpacas and all livestock from access to streambanks and waterbodies. Supply and pump to troughs.

Source: BC Government, with updates from other provincial government sources.

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