Pollution Prevention

What Can You Do to Protect Our Local Creeks and Sewer System?

Every day we can act to protect local creeks and sewer systems by preventing pollution in our homes, yards, and businesses. Use the information below as a resource for how to safely use and dispose of materials that can pollute creeks and sewers.

The most important thing to know about sewers and storm drains is that they are two different systems. When water flows off your property, it flows directly into the storm water drainage system. The storm water drainage system consists of street gutters, inlets, catch basins, and ditches.  Many people believe that storm water gets “cleaned” but it does not. Rather, it flows directly into our creeks, rivers, lakes, and the ocean without any treatment at all. Only the water that goes down a sink, toilet, or another inside drain flows to the wastewater treatment plant.  

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Prevent Pollution at Work

Storm water does not go to the Laguna Treatment Plant, instead it flows through the storm drain system untreated into our creeks and waterways. Water that DOES undergo treatment is that which goes down a sink, toilet, an oil/water separator, or another inside drain. This water flows to the sewage treatment plant and is a separate from storm water.
Some of our creeks are healthy, but many others are not, and all local creeks could benefit from protection. Sightings of wildlife such as river otters and egrets remind us that we live and recreate along creeks that are part of a larger ecosystem, and that we are each responsible for the care of the creek network. The health of human communities depends on the health of the surrounding natural environment.

Simple actions have big impacts. Prevent pollution and protect your local creeks from the convenience of your backyard, neighborhood streets, and favorite outdoor spaces by visiting the Streets to Creeks website. Here you will find how to directly engage with your community, neighbors, friends, and family alike. Get involved and set up an Action Tracker campaign, anonymously raise storm water awareness through the neighbor to neighbor application or request an activity book to inspire your children out in nature with the Creek Protector book series. Creek Protector activities will walk you through fun learning opportunities while exploring local creek trails. Discover local mammals, birds, and plants all while gaining an understanding of how our storm drains and creeks are connected. Once complete, request a Creek Protector patch and proudly display your commitment to protect and understand our local streets and creeks. 

Find these activities and other ways to connect, inspire, and create awareness at https://www.streetstocreeks.org/