Controlling Urban Runoff

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RunoffUrban runoff, the excess surface water that escapes from our yards, driveways and streets that flows through storm drains, is the greatest single source of pollution to Malibu Creek. Unlike sewage and discharges from industrial sources, urban runoff cannot be adequately treated before it reaches the creek. There are many easy things that can be done at home to help to reduce or eliminate this pollution problem. By eliminating runoff, we lower levels of harmful bacteria and other pollutants affecting the watershed.

Protecting the Malibu Creek watershed is important not only for residential quality of life, but also to ensure the long-term health of the ecosystem. However, our increased urbanization has resulted in water quality issues, as well as loss of critical habitat. Collectively, our actions can either harm or help this amazing place we call home.

There are many negative results of urban runoff, including higher water bills, struggling landscapes, and pollution of local waterways. Too much water applied to landscaping oversaturates the soil. Misadjusted sprinklers spray onto streets and sidewalks. The resulting water runoff works its way over the hardscape and into the storm drain system, carrying soil, fertilizer, remnants of pet waste, oil and gas residuals from traffic, and other pollutants. This water stream ends up in our local waterways.

You can easily reduce runoff and help our ecosystem, your landscape and your wallet. Here are some tips:

  • Cut back on watering times.
  • For hilly areas, set several short cycles instead of one long one.
  • Reset your irrigation controller for cooler periods when days are shorter and plants need less water.
  • Be sure sprinkler heads are properly aimed.
  • Speak with your landscaper about the importance of avoiding runoff.
  • Check out LVMWD's "Let's Talk About Water" video on Proper Irrigation on YouTube.
  • Visit www.mwdh2o.com and www.bewaterwise.com for more information.

 

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