November 17, 2018

Urban Runoff Management Techniques

Creek and Marsh Watch

The cities of Fairfield, Suisun City and the Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District have joined together to form Creek and Marsh Watch. These municipalities protect the local creeks and the Suisun Marsh.

The Suisun Marsh, just downstream from both Fairfield and Suisun City, is the largest contiguous brackish water marsh remaining on the West Coast. This enormous marsh is a critical part of the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary ecosystem, encompassing 116,000 acres of tidal wetlands, and 30,000 acres of bays and sloughs.

Suisun Marsh is a critical nursery for endangered Delta smelt as well as multitudes of other native and introduced species. The Suisun Marsh is also a major stop-over point each year for 1.5 million migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway.

You live in a Watershed

Watershed is a land area that drains rain and other water into a creek, marsh, lake or bay. Rain and irrigation from lawns and gardens wash pollutants off surfaces like streets, sidewalks and driveways into our storm drains and creeks and out to the Bay without any treatment. It often is contaminated by pollutants that can be toxic to fish, wildlife and people.

You may live miles away from the Bay and still be polluting its waters

Residents and small businesses are the leading causes of local stormwater pollution, and have become the primary threats to the Marsh and Bay. Pollutants that get into storm drains because of our daily choices and activities can end up in our local waterways. You may be polluting the Marsh and Bay without realizing it.

Pollution comes from everyday activities

Here are a few suggestions how you can help prevent stormwater pollution

  • Motor oil and auto fluids. If you change your own oil, recycle it, or take it to a household hazardous waste collection program.
  • Soap and dirt from washing cars in the driveway or street. Go to a commercial car wash, or wash cars on a lawn or dirt surface and empty your bucket of soapy water into a sink or toilet.
  • Antifreeze, oil, paint, or houshold cleaners. Rinse latex paint tools in a sink, not outdoors. Also, clean up toxic spills like motor oil, paint, and antifreeze with an absorbent material and dispose of soiled absorbent properly.
  • Dirt, leaves and lawn clippings that clog storm drains and choke creeks. Rake or sweep to clean up outside. Compost leaves and yard clippings, or recycle them.
  • Weed killers, fertilizers and pesticides that are washed off lawns. Use “green gardening methods such as conserving water, planting native plants, protecting the soil and reducing the use of toxic pesticides. Adjust your sprinklers or irrigation systems to prevent over watering.
  • Littering and grime that collects on parking lots and sidewalks. Use a broom, not a hose to clean up ouside. Use “green building” materials and practices, such as previous paving, for your next project.
  • Pet waste left on lawns, streets, in the gutter or on sidewalks. Pick it up and put it in a trash can.