San Diego Water Pollution

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San Diego has dense communities with roads, sidewalks, housing, shopping, industry and vehicles, which contribute to the number one water quality problem in San Diego: urban runoff.

Urban runoff is water that flows over man-made surfaces in densely populated areas and drains directly into our waters. Stormwater, irrigation and other water carry pollutants such as oil, grease, pesticides, metals, bacteria and viruses and toxic chemicals.

And then washes it all into our rivers, bays, lakes and ocean.

In Southern California, storm drain systems carry millions of gallons of polluted runoff to the ocean every day. In San Diego, our storm drain systems empty directly into our rivers, creeks, bays and beaches without any treatment.

We safeguard our vulnerable waters by ensuring improved and collaborative stormwater permits that regulate runoff. We also keep a keen eye on San Diego’s sewage spills, which once occurred daily in the City of San Diego, to make sure this avoidable pollution doesn’t destroy water quality. Whether it’s Camp Pendleton, the City of San Diego or the Point Loma Sewage Treatment plant, we fight for solutions to keep the county’s waters clean.

Surf our website to learn about these water pollution problems in San Diego County and how San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters so that you can safely enjoy your real-life surf sesh.