Everyday Opportunities

Remember to SCOOP!

One of the easiest ways you can help protect our local waterways is to pick up and properly dispose of pet waste.  Here in Missoula we LOVE our four-legged family.  Unfortunately, dog waste is a major source of water contamination.  If dog waste is left on the ground it ultimately ends up in our water.  So remember to scoop that poop and help us keep our water clean and our fish happy!

2020 Why Pick Up Poop Infographic1024_1


Volunteer

Know a trail or park with an unpleasant amount of dog waste? It's not just your shoes you have to worry about. A day's waste from one large dog can contain 7.8 billion fecal coliform bacteria and can cause human diseases like Giardia and Salmonella. If left on the ground these bacteria flow with runoff and enter our rivers and streams. Too much dog waste can lead to algae blooms and contaminated waterways. Help keep Missoula's rivers and streams clean by scheduling a Dog Waste Pick-up day at your favorite public place.

Out for walk and see some trash? By carrying a trash bag in your backpack you can combat one of the world's largest problems. That tiny piece of plastic you pick up in the park has a far reaching effect. Picking up trash here in Missoula helps other communities and international efforts, reducing the amount they have to clean-up and improving their ability to restore aquatic ecosystems. Join our positive and active Parks and Recreation Community, working to clean up Missoula public places.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3

Plant a Vegetation Buffer Around Your Property

Private properties are a main source of the nutrient and sediment pollution entering Missoula's storm inlets, streams, and rivers. By planting trees, shrubs, and other nutrient-loving plants along your property you create a natural buffer that will soak up extra chemicals like nitrogen and phosphorus left over from your home and lawn. Learn more about the problem and responsible lawn and garden care. This nutrient-rich material remains useful. Come Autumn, dead leaves from your property's plants are often more nutrient-rich than manure, making them great to use in personal compost bins or to drop off at Garden City Compost.

Maintain & Wash Your Car

By keeping a well-maintained vehicle you're minimizing the amount of oil you spread around Missoula streets. These types of petroleum leaks are the most common illicit discharge. 

Washing your car frees it of pollutants like oil, fine particles, and sediment. If you can, use a commercial car wash, which often reuse wash water before sending it to a treatment plant. If washing a car at home only use as much water and biodegradable soap as you need. Try washing where the water will drain into gravel or grass, which can help filter the wash water before it gets into the aquifer, storm inlets, rivers, or streams. BONUS: Getting those leaks repaired saves money and is better for your vehicle too!  Learn more from the EPA.

Consider Composting

...or mulching your grass clippins and leaves. Contact Missoula's own Garden City Compost for more details. Yard debris contains high levels of nutrients and other harmful chemicals that pollute our waterways and impact our water quality.  Whenever possible, try using organic or non-toxic alternatives to your typical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. BONUS: It's healthier for your kids and pets!

Dump No Waste

Paper, plastic and other trash left in the streets, sidewalks, and parking lots will wash directly into storm drains, filling them with trash and sending pollutants into our rivers... and that's a load of garbage. Consider bringing a small garbage bag out on a walk and picking up litter once a week to help cut down the amount of litter in your neighborhood. BONUS: Others may follow your example!

The Missoula Valley Water Quality District (MVWQD), a division within the Missoula City-County Health Department, responds to illicit discharges.

If you would like to report an illicit discharge or have a stormwater construction site concern you may use the online reporting form or call 406-258-4890 during regular business hours or for an after-hours matter, please call 911.