…polluted runoff is the number one cause of water pollution in Northern Virginia? That’s right, the very same rain that washes streets, yards, and parking lots clean is sending chemicals, bacteria, and trash down the drain and into the local creeks where our kids play and fish and animals live! That’s the bad news. But the good news is that if we work together, we can clean it up! The Northern Virginia Clean Water Partners have prepared this website to help you make choices that will protect and benefit both people and the environment.

Activities of the Clean Water Partners are managed by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission on their behalf.

Questions or comments can be sent to cmiles@novaregion.org

Home Maintenance

The chemicals and other products we use for car and home maintenance – if disposed of improperly – can cause damage to the environment and to our community. The key to keeping our community and environment healthy is by properly disposing of these pollution sources. Avoid accidental pollution discharges by following the tips below.

Pesticides and Fertilizers
  • Fertilize in the fall!

  • Avoid applying pesticides and fertilizers when rain is predicted.

  • Use non-toxic alternatives when possible, such as compost.

Talk to Your Contractor About Preventing Pollution
  • Ask your contractor how and where they plan to rinse their equipment. or dispose of leftover materials. Provide access to a utility sink if needed to ensure that wash water will not run off the property and down a storm drain.

  • Ask your contractor where they will dispose of leftover materials, debris and trash. Ensure that items that can blow away or be washed away are covered and secured so that they cannot be blow or washed down a storm drain.

  • If your project will disturb the soil, cover the area with hay or mulch when work is finished for the day, or before rain to prevent erosion.

  • Work materials such as concrete, paint or dirt, should never be left where they can wash or be blown into the road and down the storm drain.

Washing Your Car
  • Take your car to a commercial car wash. Commercial car washes send their dirty water to a waste water treatment plant.

Changing Your Oil
  • Check your car for oil leaks on a regular basis. Place a piece of cardboard under the car and check it after a few hours.

  • If you find a leak, take your car to a shop to prevent oil from running into the storm drain.

  • Dispose of used motor oil at your local household hazardous waste disposal site.

  • Never dispose of your paints or stains down the drain. Either take it to a collection site or mix it into a solid and dispose of it in the trash.

  • When painting your house - or anything outside - make sure to pick up any paint chips that may get carried into a nearby storm drain.

Paints and Stains
Household Hazardous Waste
  • Avoid hazardous waste by purchasing non-hazardous or the least hazardous products.

  • When using products that contain hazardous materials is unavoidable, make sure to take your waste to the proper drop-off locations near you.