Water Quality Index Score: 57, Marginal
Over the course of 2015, the Otay Watershed remained the most consistent watershed in the county. Unfortunately, the water quality was consistently bad.
- Consistently high bacteria levels: Every sample collected exceeded healthy standards for Enterococcus.
- Consistently high Nitrate levels: Almost every sample exceeded standards
- Consistently low dissolved oxygen concentrations
In better news, we loved hearing that Water Quality Monitors in this watershed also consistently spotted dragonflies, crawfish and herons while sampling.
Stormwater Detective Work
To further investigate these troubling water quality problems, we launched a stormwater sampling program in 2015 to supplement our regular testing of the Otay watershed. Our stormwater sampling program enlists a special team of volunteer Water Quality Monitors to drop what they’re doing as soon as a storm hits to collect stormwater samples at specific sites of interest.
During storms, as the rainwater runs off our lawns, driveways and streets, it carries pollutants like metals, bacteria and sediment into our rivers, lagoons and ocean. With our stormwater monitoring program, we hope to better understand where and how much pollution is entering our waterways during rainstorms. This information can then be used in efforts to clean stormwater before it has a chance to harm our watersheds.