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FREE Home & Garden Guides to Prevent Water Pollution

The San Francisco Water Pollution Prevention Program produces publications and conducts outreach programs to assist residents with preventing water pollution. San Francisco residents can play a big part in preventing water pollution. We can change our buying and disposal practices and select methods that have less impact on the environment and that are safer for you and your family.

Control It!Control It! -- Pest Control In and Around Your Home

Pesticides can cause water pollution when they are poured down drains or when they are washed off yards and lawns by rain or irrigation into street drains. Once in the underground sewer system, these products may pass through the wastewater treatment plant and end up in the Bay or Ocean, where they can harm fish and wildlife, and contribute to the build-up of toxins in the fish we eat.

There are ways to control pests in and around the home through prevention methods and less-toxic treatment alternatives. This guide provides details on prevention, pest identification, non-toxic controls and less-toxic controls for a wide range of pest, including: ants, moths, cockroaches, fleas, flies, mice, mosquitoes, pigeons, rats, spiders, termites and wasps and yellow jackets. The guide also addresses how to properly dispose of empty containers or left over products. 

Grow It!Grow It! -- Yard and Garden Care

Many garden and yard chemcials can pollute the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean when they poured down drains or are washed off lawns and gardens into street drains during the rain or by over watering. Once in the underground sewer syste, these products may pass through the treatment plant and end up in the Bay and Ocean harming fish and wildlife.

You can grow a vibrant garden using fewer chemicals -- by creating a healthy soil, planting the right plants for San Francisco, and using organics pest control methods. The Water Pollution Prevention Progam developed "Grow It! The Less-Toxic Garden" to help you with controlling pests and plant disease using less-toxic methods.

Remodel It!Remodel It! -- Home Improvement Projects

Many products used in home projects - such as paint strippers, solvents, and thinners - are hazardous both to you and the environment if not used, stored, and disposed of properly.

Three important points to remember are: buy the least-hazardous products whenever possible; follow the instructions on the label; and purchase only what you need for the job. Most retailers can help you find the least-hazardous product that will work for your job.

Using the right tools, products and techniques in your home improvement projects can protect you and the environment - and result in a professional-looking job!

Clean It!Clean It! -- Home Cleaning Products

You don't need harsh cleaning products to clean your home. Baking soda is a good all-purpose cleaner and vinegar can make windows sparkle.

There's a very good reason to make the switch - some commercial household cleaning products can be hazardous to you and your family. The hazards can come from chemical fumes, improper mixing of more than one product, or from being swallowed by small children.

The Water Pollution Prevention Program developed "Clean It!" to provide you with tips on safer cleaning methods and how to dispose of potentially hazardous products you may already have in your home. The recommended safer methods are listed in Clean It!

The key to easy, safer cleaning is prevention: prevent build-up of dirt and house cleaning will be easy. As with any product, results depend on the type and condition of the surface, the type and amount of dirt build-up, your tools, and techniques.

By buying and using fewer potentially hazardous products in the first place, you'll create a safer place for you, your family, and the environment.

San Francisco Department of Environment created the SF Approved List to share the best in authoritative green purchasing information within City government and with the world at large. Check out their site for lists of greener cleaning products and other products. Please note that this website is geared toward companies working under City contracts, but San Francisco residents can also purchase these products for use in their own home.

Any mention of individual products, vendors or technologies mentioned on these websites does not constitute an endorsement by the City and County of San Francisco.

Car Maintenance

Good car care can save you money and add years to the life of your car. A program of routine maintenance can:

  • Help the car run better
  • Save on fuel
  • Prevent oil leaks
  • Save on major repair costs
  • Make your car safer to drive

There's one more important benefit: good car care prevents water and air pollution. When you practice regular maintenance, your car won't put extra toxic exhaust into the air we breathe, and it won't leak oil onto city streets which may end up in the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. That's why the San Francisco Water Pollution Prevention Program has developed "Fix It!" to help you take care of the environment at the same time you take care of your car. For all of the recommendations listed in this guide you must follow your vehicle service manual, and failure to do so could result in voiding your warranty.

It is illegal to repair your car on city streets except in emergencies.

To order one of our free guides for San Francisco residents, please call the WPPP hotline at (415) 695-7310. Please allow 2 weeks for delivery.

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Last updated: 9/16/2011 9:59:16 AM