I took this photo as I was spending time at sewell park.

10 Easy Ways to Help Keep the San Marcos River Clean

By Daniel Richter 
Web Content Contributor

San Marcos’ pride and joy is the San Marcos River.  If we as a community don’t do our part to make sure it stays clean, there would be nothing to enjoy. Check out these 10 tips on how you can do your part to keep our river clean.

1. Pick up after your pets

Your doggy’s doo doo carries bacteria that can be harmful to the ecosystem. Don’t expect someone else to do it for you. Just bring a trash bag with you while walking your dog.

2. Be careful with what you flush down the toilet

You should not be flushing cleaning chemicals down the toilet. Use them or find a local recycler to handle them. Flushing floss, medications, feminine hygiene products and paper towels are also big no-no’s. Save those objects for the trash.

3. Fix your car

Oil that finds its way out of your car has a good chance of running off into the river. If you notice your car is leaking oil make sure you take it to the shop and have it fixed as soon as possible! Also, remember to clean up the oil that your car left behind.

4. Choose the right fertilizer

 Many fertilizers include chemicals that cause nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that can be toxic to wildlife. When buying fertilizer, you want to make sure that chemicals are not present in what you use for your yard or house plants.

5. Try not to use as much water throughout the day

If you use less water throughout your day more water gets to stay in our beautiful river. It takes energy to process, clean and deliver water so the more water we use, the more chance the river has of being polluted. A few ways to help would be to try to cut down on the showers. Also, wait till your dishwasher is full and you have a full load of laundry before you use your dishwasher and washing machine.

6. Check up on your septic tank (if you have one)

You should check up on your septic tank yearly to make sure everything is running smoothly. If your septic tank is acting up and you think it may need to be pumped, check out this resource.

7. Educate your friends

The more that we spread the word about the importance of keeping our river clean, hopefully, people will make a larger effort to do their best for the environment. So, the next time you see something that you know will harm our river, speak up! 

8.  Make a rain garden

A rain garden collects rain runoff from your driveway, roof as well as other places and sends that water back into the earth instead of the river. They can look beautiful, have tons of other environmental benefits and are super easy to make. Here’s an awesome tutorial to follow.

9. Don’t litter

Letting trash into the river is terrible for everyone and everything that shares the river. The birds, the fish, the plants and the river goers. Bring a trash bag with you while you go tubing to make sure you don’t accidentally drop anything. If you see anyone else’s trash, please pick it up because you would be doing the river a huge favor. 

10. Volunteer!

Taking the time out of your day to give back to the environment and picking up some trash goes a long way. Volunteering doesn’t need to be a chore either. Go out with some friends and enjoy the river while you pick up trash.

Go out and enjoy what the San Marcos River has to offer. Just make sure you are doing it responsibly.

Featured image by Daniel Richter

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