How Can I Help?

Best Management Practices (BMPs)



If you are involved in the activities such as carpet cleaning, residential automobile repair and maintenance, landscaping activities and vegetation management, vehicle washing, pet waste, residential gardening and lawn care, the following is our recommended best management practices (BMPs).

King County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual

This manual has been adopted by the City of Des Moines and applies to all activities in Des Moines that have the potential to contribute pollutants to stormwater runoff or to receiving waters directly. Stormwater runoff may seep into the ground, drain to a storm drain or a drainage ditch, or flow over the ground. Regardless of the way runoff leaves the site, it can end up in a stream, river, lake, wetland, groundwater, or Puget Sound.

The manual includes stormwater BMPs for commercial, industrial, public, single family residential properties, multifamily residential activities, and information on how to implement many stormwater BMPs.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual

Carpet Cleaning
  • Dispose wash water in the sanitary system
  • Do not dispose wash water into storm drain system
Residential Automobile Repair and Maintenance
  • Always keep used vehicle fluids in container with tight fitting lids
  • Do not dispose of used vehicle fluids into a storm drain system or onto the ground
  • Immediately clean up spills with absorbent materials and dispose of them in a garbage can
  • Do not hose down spills into the street or storm drain
  • If you want to clean the engine or undercarriage of vehicle, bring vehicle to a commercial car wash facility
Landscaping Activities and Vegetation Management
  • Do not apply pesticides and fertilizers when it is raining
  • Immediately clean up spills of pesticides
  • Follow manufacturers’ recommendations and label directions for the use of pesticides
  • Dispose collected vegetation by recycling or composting
  • Do not dispose collected vegetation into storm drain system
  • Consider using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach for pest control
Pet Waste
  • Scoop it! Bag it! Trash it!
  • Flush it down to toilet
  • Do not bury or compost
  • Do not dispose it in yard waste collection bins
  • For an entertaining and humorous reminder watch the Dog Doogity music video
Residential Gardening and Lawn Care
  • Manually or mechanically remove weeds or pests as possible rather than using pesticides
  • Compost your yard wastes and use it as mulch in your yard or garden
  • Do not dispose or dump grass clipping or other vegetation into storm drain system
  • Use the least amount of pesticides as possible and always follow the label directions
  • Do not apply pesticides or fertilizers when it is raining
  • Always keep fertilizer or pesticide containers in a covered area
Vehicle Washing
1. Options for Residential Car Washing
  • Use a commercial car wash station
  • Wash your car on gravel, grass, or other permeable surfaces
  • Use hoses with nozzles that have automatically shut off when left unattended.
2. Options for Car Wash Fundraisers
  • Use a “Car Wash Kit” available free of charge to organizations that are fundraising. The kit is a storm drain insert and pump that captures soapy water runoff, allowing it to be pumped into sanitary sewage or vegetated area for treatment.  See below for more information on how to check out a kit.
  • Fundraising organizers can buy redeemable car wash ticket from Puget Sound Carwash Association at $2 and resale it at $5 to $8 without getting wet. For more detail visit The Green Car Wash Fundraiser website.

Request a Car Wash Kit


What runs off from your car goes right into storm drains and eventually into creeks, wetlands, and the Puget Sound. Please report any illicit activities! To request a car wash kit or report a spill please call Tyler Beekley at (206) 870-6869 or email at tbeekley@desmoineswa.gov.