How to Help Sligo Creek’s Water Quality

Suggestions for helping Sligo’s water quality, organized in 4 sections: Home, Street, Car, and Community.

In general, only rainwater should go down the street stormdrains!



  • sweep the gutters and driveways regularly and place the sweepings in the garden
  • prevent soil or mulch from being washed or blown off the garden
  • rake up lawn clippings and use them as mulch on the garden or place them in the compost
  • grass or re-plant areas of disturbed soil
  • use natural alternatives to pest control chemicals
  • dispose of paint and chemicals at approved disposal sites (e.g., Shady Grove Transfer Station)
  • consider using rain barrels, rain gardens, and other methods to reduce runoff and increase water infiltration in your yard
  • pile sand and soil on areas where it can wash into the stormwater system
  • overuse/use chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) that could be washed into stormwater from your yard
  • drop packaging or cigarette butts on the ground
  • leave trash where bins are already full
  • use (too much) fertilizer
  • pour grease or food items down the kitchen drain; it may lead to sewer blockages
  • leave dirt exposed, including piles of dirt
  • let paint, concrete or other work substances run down the driveway and road and into the Creek
  • wash your car on the street or in your driveway where suds could flow into the Creek
Maple Ave Silt going into Sligo Creek

Soil pollution entering Sligo Creek tributary



  • pick up litter when you see it
  • clean up pet droppings and dispose of them in the garden, rubbish bins, or in the toilet


  • throw litter onto the street or sidewalk
  • wash your car in your driveway or on the street
    Bacterial Plate

    Coliform bacterial plate of water quality sample, such as from pet waste



    • maintain your car, making sure there are no leaks and that fuel is burned cleanly by keeping it tuned
    • use the minimum amount of detergent for cleaning outside, and wash your car on the grass or on gravel.
    • take your car to a car wash where the water is recycled


    • work on your car (including oil changing) in a place where oil and grease may wash into the street
    • wash the car in the street using detergent
    Suds discharge into Sligo Creek

    Detergent suds discharging into the Creek



    • Participate in a FOSC water quality(WQ) monitoring program, such as Road Salt monitoring, Summer WQ monitoring, or year round WQ monitoring. Other groups have WQ monitoring as well: Maryland DNR Stream Waders, the Audubon Naturalist Society, and the Izaak Walton League Save Our Streams.
    • Encourage civic leaders to implement policies that reduce stormwater volumes, sewer leaks, nutrients, toxic chemicals, and other impediments to water quality. Check the Advocacy page for sample letters.