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Protect Water Quality

You and your family play an important role in preventing pollution. As you perform your daily activities at home or on the job, be proactive. It is easier to prevent pollution then to clean it up once it has occurred.

When it rains or when water flows off of properties, it gets collected by the storm drain system. All water that enters the storm drain system flowsuntreated directly into our creeks, rivers, bays, and ocean – along with the pollutants it carries. Trash, bacteria, sediment, fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants have the potential to enter our waterways every day if not properly controlled and contained.

Keeping pollutants out of storm drains helps preserve our environment and improve water quality. It can also help you avoid costly fines related to the illegal discharge of pollutants into the storm drain system (PDF icon San Diego Municipal Code 43.0301)

Tips for Preventing Pollution

One of the best ways to prevent the flow of pollution into our local waterways is to prevent water from leaving your property. By eliminating basic things, like over-irrigation and cleaning hard surfaces with water, you can prevent urban runoff and avoid discharging pollutants into our waterways.

The following tips have been developed to assist you in establishing pollution prevention procedures around your home, in your yard and from your car.

Think Blue appreciates everything you do to help protect our local waterways.

Keep Our Ocean Clean

Sustainable Landscapes

Sustainable landscapes apply water conservation design techniques to reduce outdoor water use, decrease the need for yard chemicals and minimize the amount of urban runoff that enters the storm drain system. When you switch to a native landscape, apply rainwater harvesting methods and install efficient irrigation systems, you can create a sustainable landscape that is both enjoyable and improves water quality.

Gardening With Good Bugs

Most gardens contain far more types of good bugs, or beneficial insects, than pest insects. To encourage beneficial insects, choose plants that will provide them with the pollen, nectar, and shelter that they need to thrive. Gardening with good bugs is a method of yard care called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM uses good bugs and plant selection to help you avoid harsh pesticides that may harm you, your family and our environment. The tip cards below will help you identify the good and the bad bug and help you plan a strategy that avoids polluting our environment with pesticides.

Flood Prevention Tips

Compared to other cities, the volume of rainfall in San Diego may not seem like a big deal — but it is. Trash, debris and other types of pollution can get carried along with the rain water into the storm drain system and into our local waterways. San Diego’s rainy season is October 1st through April 30th.

You can help reduce flooding and storm water pollution by following these helpful tips:

  1. Sweep regularly.
    Pick up trash, leaves, grass clippings and other debris that collects around the storm drains and curb gutters near your home. Loose materials can clog storm drains and increase the potential for flooding in your neighborhood.
  2. Keep a lid on it.
    Make sure all outdoor garbage cans stay tightly covered. Rain water washes trash and debris into storm drains which flow untreated to our beaches and bays.
  3. Keep it Clean.
    Pick up after your pets — rain water can wash pet waste into our storm drains causing bacterial contamination at our beaches. Keep your car in good repair - automotive fluids that leak onto our streets are a leading cause of pollution in our rivers, bays and ocean front.
  4. Stay covered.
    Properly store and contain outdoor materials so trash, fluids and debris don’t leave your property.
  5. Stay safe.
    Use caution and slow down on roads and freeways. Be aware of road conditions and avoid driving through standing or moving water. If you live in an area that has experienced flooding in the past, be sure that important items like keepsakes, tools and equipment are stored off the floor. Once rains begin, avoid low lying roadways and find alternate routes around areas like Mission Valley and the beach area communities prone to temporary flooding.

Rain needs to be able to flow freely into storm drain inlets and away from neighborhoods. Following these simple steps helps to reduce the risk of flooding near your home and keeps our beaches and bays clean.


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