10 Things to Do for Bolin Creek

Choices we make every day contribute to the health of our waterways. Here are 10 suggestions for actions you can take today to improve the health of Bolin Creek.

  1. Slow down storm (rain) water. Consider placing a rain barrel under your roof or adding a rain garden to your yard. Mulch gardens to retain moisture and discourage runoff. Impervious surfaces in our creek’s watershed speed rain water’s path into the creek. This causes a larger burst of water into the creek at one time, resulting in increased erosion, scouring of creek banks, and washing of more pollutants into the creek.
  2. Reduce fertilizer use. Test your soil to see if it is necessary, see http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/ for free soil testing, and never apply fertilizer before a rain.
  3. Dispose of household chemicals properly. See http://www.co.orange.us.recycling/hw. Many storm drains go directly into the creeks. Chemicals improperly placed in septics and landfills can still find their way into the water.
  4. Maintain your car so that it doesn’t leave any pollutants (such as oil, antifreeze, brake and transmission fluid) behind on the road to be washed into the creek.
  5. Reduce detergent use and make sure all soaps are disposed of in sanitary sewers. No soap, regardless of labeling, is safe to use outdoors!  If you must do outside washing, including pressure washing, protect storm drains. Detergents and cleaners are harmful to freshwater organisms. Additionally, phosphates found in many detergents can cause eutrophication in streams and lakes, including toxic blooms of blue green algae.
  6. Use trails respectfully. In wet conditions, consider switching venues to reduce erosion. Clean up after your pet.
  7. Plant native species when making landscaping choices; they are adapted to our climate, require less care and resources, provide habitat, and reduce the risk of introducing exotic invasives.
  8. Pick up litter; participate in community NC Big Sweep events (http://www.ci.chapel-hill.nc.us/index.aspx?page=395). Litter can harm wildlife, create human health hazards, and leach chemicals into groundwater as it decomposes.
  9. Call the Stormwater Pollution Hotline (919-969-RAIN) to report any dumping or polluting emergencies, including sediment flows. Sediment is the leading pollutant by volume in North Carolina waterways.
  10. Conserve water. It really is all connected.

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