Be River Smart at home and when you are out on the river by following these simple guidelines:

Conserving Water In and Around Your Home

  • Repair leaky faucets and running toilets right away. Leaks can waste as much as 50 gallons of water a day.
  • Don’t run the faucet when you are brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing dishes. This can waste 3-5 gallons every time you run the faucet.
  • Install low flow toilets to save 3-5 gallons per flush.
  • Install water saving showerheads. Outdated showerheads can waste 20 gallons of water a day.
  • Don’t run your dishwasher or washing machine unless they are full.
  • Water your lawn or garden in the early morning or evening to avoid water loss due to evaporation.

Controlling Pollution In and Around Your Home

  • Use a rain barrel to collect rain water from your roof and gutter and reuse to water your flower garden or yard.
  • Never dump oil, anti-freeze, paint or any other chemical or pollutant down the storm drain. Take them to you local hazardous waste disposal site instead. Most storm drains go directly to our rivers where oil and paint can kill fish, birds and other wildlife.
  • Compost or recycle your yard waste and minimize your use of fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn and garden. Any yard waste or pesticides that are washed off your property and down the nearest storm drain will usually end up in your local river.
  • Plant a rain garden on your property to minimize the amount of stormwater runoff that leaves your property and washes down the stormdrain. Rain gardens also help reduce the amount of water you need to use to water your plants.
  • Don’t flush expired and unused medicines down the drain or toilet. Your local sewage treatment plant does not have the technology needed to remove these chemicals from the waste water, and most of them are then discharged to our rivers where they can harm fish and other aquatic life. Take them to your local hazardous waste disposal site instead.
  • Use environmentally friendly house hold cleaners like phosphate free detergent in your dishwasher.
  • Properly maintain your septic tank and fix any car leaks right away. Both can be sources of pollution that end of up in your local river.

Minimize Your Impacts When You Are On The River

  • Be considerate of fish, wildlife and other people. Never leave behind any trash or leftovers from your river trip or throw any trash in the river that could harm wildlife or ruin the view for the next visitor. If you find someone else’s trash, take it with you. Keep noise levels down to avoid disturbing wildlife and people.
  • Carry any water you need in reusable hard plastic water bottles. Most commercially bottled water comes from rivers, aquifers or even the tap, and the disposable water bottles are wasteful and frequently discarded improperly.
  • If you pull over on a river bank or sand bar, try to disturb as little wildlife habitat as possible. Travel on established trails and leave everything as you found it.
  • Report unusual smelling water, discarded barrels that appear to be leaking or illegal dump sites to your nearest EPA office.
  • Retrieve any snagged or broken fishing equipment before leaving.
  • Make sure you wash your boat off before transferring it from one river to another to minimize the risk you are transplanting unwanted species.

For more details on how to minimize your impacts when out on the river, visit Leave No Trace.