Be a Part of the Solution to Water Pollution
When you take a shower or wash clothes in your home, the rinse water goes down the drain and into the sewer system to be treated. Outside your home, things are very different. Everything that flows into a storm drain goes untreated directly into our local creeks and ultimately, into the ocean. Our nearby wildlife, plants, and of course, humans, are dependent upon these bodies of water for habitat, livelihood and recreation. Unfortunately, stormwater and runoff entering our watershed is often polluted by pesticides, fertilizers, litter, pet waste, motor oil, eroded soil, and household chemicals. Stormwater is managed through implementation of the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Below are some resources that describe how you can help prevent stormwater pollution and keep our local creeks healthy and clean.
Your Home, Your Watershed
A watershed is the system of creeks and rivers that drain a certain area of land when it rains. Did you know that as a resident of Gilroy, you live in the Uvas-Llagas Watershed? That means when it rains, water goes into your gutter, through the storm drains, and empties (untreated) into Uvas or Llagas Creek, Uvas and Llagas Creek carry the City’s rain water to the Pajaro River which drains into the Monterey Bay. The Uvas-Llagas Watershed is part of the larger Pajaro River Watershed. San Martin, Morgan Hill and Hollister are also part of the larger Pajaro Watershed.
If you are interested in learning more about your local watershed, please be sure to check out (and share!) the resources below:
- Gilroy Gardens Water Oasis. The Gilroy Gardens Water Oasis attraction includes interpretive activities that educate guests as they play in the water. Additionally, the Water Oasis website provides some straightforward tools to interpret the intricacies of water science.
- Locally Filmed Stormwater Pollution Video. Check out the locally filmed video, below, to learn about ways to prevent pollution from going down our storm drains.
The City encourages litter collection to keep our community clean and to prevent litter from being washed into our waterways. To participate in any of the following events, please contact the City of Gilroy Department of Recreation at (408) 846-0460:
- National River Cleanup Day (Spring)
- Family Service Day (Spring)
- Coastal Cleanup Day (Fall)
- Adopt-a-Spot Program
The Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) has an extensive outreach program that includes teacher training seminars, highly-regarded classroom programs, and curriculum materials available online.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website includes Water Education training activities for kids.
Become a Steward of the Local Creeks
Make a difference! The City has a list of Gilroy residents and organizations that are interested in becoming stewards of the local water system. Those on the list receive regular updates on the water system, upcoming volunteer opportunities, educational materials, and opportunities to comment on the City’s outreach strategies and raise awareness in the community. For details, please contact Tanya Carothers, City of Gilroy Environmental Programs Coordinator, at (408) 846-0576 or email Tanya.Carothers@cityofgilroy.org.
Household Hazardous Waste Disposal
Don’t let your household hazardous wastes become a threat to our creek’s water quality. The City of Gilroy participates in the Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste disposal program. Household hazardous wastes include oil, pesticides, household cleaners, etc. Gilroy residents can set up an appointment with the County to responsibly dispose of household hazardous wastes for free. Please visit the County website to set up an appointment online, or call (408) 299-7300.