Protecting Our Waterways

It’s about to rain, and we need it. But did you know that rainwater runoff can collect pollutants as it flows across our yards and neighborhoods?

Residential areas have been shown to be a common source of urban runoff in the San Diego Region. Landscape maintenance, home remodeling projects, and improper waste disposal are some of the activities that cause bacteria, nutrients, sediment, pesticides and trash to enter our waterways.

But you can help! Sweep up around your home and yard to reduce trash, grass clippings and soil from being washed into the storm drain. Place trash into containers with lids. Sweep up grass clippings and leaves for composting or place this material into the green recycling containers. Check your irrigation system and don’t overwater. Turn off water sprinkler systems when it rains.

You can also help protect your property and the county infrastructure by placing sandbags to block mud and debris runoff, and especially around storm drains. Free sand and bags are available throughout the unincorporated areas of the county. A complete list of locations is on the DPW website.

By doing these few tasks you can help to reduce water pollution and protect our beaches and bays.

Learn more on how to keep your watershed clean

Watch below to see what County departments are doing to protect storm drains.

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact