eGuide to a WaterSmart Lifestyle

© SDCWA 2013

WaterSmart is where our San Diego lifestyle and water efficiency meet. Each step you take has the potential to enhance your lifestyle, increase the value of your home, save money and inspire a neighbor to do the same.

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Page 106 of 139

Ideas Manage Your Stormwater Gardens can reduce water pollution The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that when a storm hits an urban area such as San Diego, 55 percent of stormwater runs off landscapes and impervious surfaces and into storm drains, creeks and rivers. It carries pesticides and fertilizers from landscapes, bacteria from animal waste, and oil, chemicals and heavy metals from streets and parking lots. These pollutants then flow into Mission Bay, Moonlight Beach and other popular recreation points along the coast. That's why San Diego and other cities across the country are adopting low-impact development practices for public and commercial landscapes. These landscapes capture stormwater where it falls for irrigation and groundwater recharge. Whether you are a city stormwater manager or a homeowner, the techniques of stormwater harvesting are easy to do, affordable and focused on slowing it, sinking it and storing it. Rainwater is free, irrigating with it reduces demand for imported water, and you'll be protecting San Diego's watersheds and beaches. Create Berms and Basins Create basins about 12 inches deep to capture the runoff from your roof and sidewalk. If your city approves, install curb cuts to capture runoff from the street, too. Plant shrubs and perennials in basins and the roots will extract pollutants out of the water as it percolates through the soil. 107

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