Water runoff carries a host of pollutants to our storm drains, into our creeks, and out to the ocean – each one causing its own unique damage to the environment. Bacteria from pet waste can cause gastro-intestinal and other medical problems for swimmers and those who come in contact with the water as well as infect marine animals, including sea otters, which are dying as a result. When bacteria levels in ocean water at the beach get too high, beaches are closed to protect the public. Trash and excess sediment clogs storm drains and causes flooding while at the same time decreasing the amount of available oxygen in the water and causing aquatic death. Trash pollutes the ocean and, if consumed, can kill sea birds and other marine animals. Nutrients in fertilizers can be toxic to aquatic life at high levels or can result in algae blooms that also suffocate aquatic life. Over-watering wastes water and costs you money. Remember, there’s never enough water to waste.
Studies show that the most commonly used pesticides are the ones most likely to cause water quality problems. More than half of the pesticides causing water quality problems are used in urban areas by residents, home gardeners, and pest control professionals in and around homes, schools, and businesses. Even small amounts of pesticides can be lethal to marine life, birds, and other life forms. Fertilizer can get washed into storm drains, when it rains or from over-irrigation, and flow directly into creeks and the ocean. This causes algae to grow, which uses up oxygen that fish needs to survive.