How to Help Sligo Creek’s Water Quality

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



  • 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
  • consider 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 the garden or 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

  • hose dirt off hard surfaces (roads, paths, driveways) into gutters
  • hose leaves and grass clippings into gutter
Bacterial Plate

Coliform bacterial plate of water quality sample



  • 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 water quality monitoring program, such as 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.