Urban 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 consequences of urban runoff, including higher water bills, unhealthy landscapes and pollution of local waterways. Misaligned sprinklers spray onto streets and sidewalks. Too much water applied to landscapes oversaturates the soil. The excess water works its way down picking up soil, fertilizer, remnants of pet waste, residual oil and gas from streets, and other pollutants before making its way down the storm drain and into our local water bodies.
You can easily reduce runoff and help our ecosystem, your landscape and your wallet. Just follow these 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.
- Watch LVMWD's "Let's Talk About Water" video on Proper Irrigation.