Clean Water News & Stories

Be Water Wise as You Winterize

Get your home winter-ready with tools and tactics that will keep you, and our water, safe this season. 

  • Traction is the safest way to protect yourself, pets, and our waterways. Keep a bucket of sand or gravel and a scoop next to the door, along with your shovel. Don’t forget ice cleats for walking through slick areas.
  • If you do use an ice-melting product, use it sparingly before the snow and ice arrive, and don’t forget to clean up after each event. Products made from calcium chloride, potassium chloride, or magnesium chloride are safer for pets, soil, plants and our local streams. 
  • Avoid using rock salt, table salt, or products containing urea. These cause more harm to soil, plants, and streams. 
  • After each snow or ice event, sweep up excess sand and gravel, along with any anti-icing pellets, and place the materials in the trash. 
  • Cover your vehicle with a tarp or sheet before each event to keep car windows free from ice. If ice forms, apply a vinegar and water solution in a 3:1 ratio, respectively, to the windows to remove the ice. 
  • Be ready in case of rapidly melting snow and rain, which can lead to clogged storm drains and flooding. Clear ice, snow and debris from neighborhood drains and call 503.547.8100 to report flooding problems. 

As ice melts and water runs downhill, it picks up pollutants such as oil, grease, pesticides, fertilizers, and pet waste that can wash into waterways and impact area water quality. Explore more natural home and yard care treatments that protect our neighborhood streams. 

Clogged sewer blocks rainwater runoff