Don’t soap up the creeks

It may still be spring officially, but it’s starting to feel like summer, and folks are spending more time outdoors—going for hikes or bike rides, working in their yards, planting gardens, spring-cleaning their cars. That’s great, but we do have some concerns about the car washing—namely, that too many people aren’t taking simple precautions that will keep soap out of Chico’s creeks.

The problem is washing the vehicles in driveways. The soapy water then flows into the gutter and thence into the nearest drain. Perhaps people haven’t noticed the little enamel signs on the sidewalks above Chico’s drains pointing out that the water goes directly into a creek.

As problems go, it’s easy to solve: Just drive your car onto a lawn or other pervious surface (a gravel driveway, for example) and wash away. The water will sink into the ground, and the soil will naturally filter out the soap.

Chico’s creeks are among the best things about this town, so let’s take care of them by keeping them soap free.