Pollution Prevention

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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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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 they 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.