Protecting Water Quality
Keeping our waterways clean
Stormwater runoff is the rain or melting snow that runs off across a yard or street and flows into a nearby stormwater drain, which leads directly to the nearest stream and lake. The runoff is not treated before it enters the natural system. Thus, it is our responsibility to keep our watershed clean. Preventing pollution before it enters the water system keeps wildlife healthier, reduces the need for more aggressive water treatment options downstream and keeps the streams and lakes in which we play more beautiful.
Some ways you can prevent stormwater pollution:
- Drop off household chemicals to be disposed of properly at the Tri-County Household Chemical Roundup (see details below).
- Join volunteers in picking up trash along Plum Creek at Spring Up the Creek, held every May (see details below).
- Drop off unused or expired prescription drugs in the lobby of the Castle Rock Police Department, 100 Perry St., during regular business hours.
- Dog waste can contaminate stormwater run-off, ending up in our water supply. Dog waste is not a fertilizer and contains harmful amounts of nitrogen, which may spread noxious weeds. In addition, it can spread worms and other parasites, as well as many different illnesses and diseases, including E. coli. Per Town Municipal Code, dog owners are required by law to clean-up their dogs' waste, and can be fined for failing to do so.
- Use fertilizers sparingly. If over-applied, rain carries away the excess nutrients the plants do not need and washes them to the nearest waterway, causing excess algae growth that uses up vital oxygen for fish.
- Don’t wash lawn and yard clippings into the street and drains. The excess phosphorous and nitrogen are too much for the natural stream to handle and are harmful to wildlife.
- Do not (temporarily) store landscape materials in the street or sidewalk; rock, mulch and soil should be delivered and placed on your driveway.
- Clean up automotive and chemical spills using dry clean up methods. One drop of oil can pollute one million drops of water.
- Dispose of fats, oils and grease in the trash can. Landfills are equipped to handle these materials. Freeze them for easier disposal.
- Make sure trash is in the trash can. Keep trash can lids closed, secure loads in open vehicles, and pick up litter in the streets to minimize litter scattered by wind or rain. Sweep and dispose of waste in a trash can instead of using a water hose to clean driveways and sidewalks.
- Unused or leftover latex paint can be dropped off at some area paint retailers for reuse. Dried out water-based latex paint can be safely and legally disposed of in regular household garbage. Mixing the paint with kitty litter, concrete-mix, or soil will help speed the drying process. Empty or dried-out cans of paint can be discarded in the trash if the lids are removed.
If you see illegal or accidental dumping, please contact our Stormwater Hotline at 720-733-2235 as soon as possible.
Spring Up the Creek
This annual springtime event, held each May, started in 2003 when a group of energetic volunteers took it upon themselves to clean up areas of East Plum Creek and Sellars Gulch. Since then, the clean-up has grown to include hundreds of volunteers cleaning various drainageways throughout Town. Volunteers are given gloves, bags and transportation if required. Through sponsorships, the event provides free T-shirts, breakfast, kids’ crafts and a host of other activities.
Household Chemical Roundup
Please do not dump products found in your home in the storm drain, which leads to our rivers. Instead, dispose of your chemicals at one of the regional Tri-County Household Chemical Roundups. Castle Rock Water hosts one event every fall. The 2019 event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21. Products accepted include: oil-based paint, mercury, gasoline, degreasers, cleaning compounds, and garden chemicals. Please bring identification (utility bill, driver’s license, etc.) to verify your address and $25 per vehicle.
One thing is CLEAR …
Castle Rock Water participates in regional programs and partnerships to improve stormwater quality throughout our surrounding watershed. The Cooperative for Local Environmental Awareness and Responsibility (CLEAR) provides education regarding our watershed and stormwater quality. Remember, One Thing is CLEAR, our creeks, rivers and lakes depend on you.