Pollution Hurts—Sweep Don’t Hose

Hosing down sidewalks and driveways contributes to water pollution.


Watch Fred & Izzy as they discover another surprising source of pollution that may harm the water and wildlife in our creeks, wetlands and the Bay.


It’s important to keep pollutants and litter out of storm drains, because in Alameda County they flow directly to creeks and the Bay, without going to a treatment plant first. Soot, auto fluids and other residue from daily life settles on our sidewalks, driveways, roofs and other structures. When these surfaces are cleaned by hosing or using a power washer, the wash water carr­ies the pollutants away from your home, where they eventually they find their way into a storm drain. Even tap water can harm the delicate microorganisms that help keep water ecosystems healthy.

You can prevent pollution by sweeping instead of hosing. If you must wash, be sure that the flow of water ends up on landscaping or gravel areas instead of the street or sidewalk.

Thank you! Fred and Izzy thank you too.

Learn more about preventing pollution from home maintenance activities here.