News and Press

Stormwater Best Management Practices and Dentistry

Stormwater Best Management Practices and Dentistry

By Robert Ketley, Board Director for the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County

Many local businesses and residential developments have vegetated or percolating treatment systems that help clean stormwater runoff. Harnessing the power of biology, chemistry and physics, these systems remove pollutants such as sediments, nutrients, oils and metals. Typically referred to as “best management practices” (BMPs), these wonderful bits of engineered landscaping often blend in with conventional landscaping. Effectively hidden in plain sight, they go about their business while we engage in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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Prop 1 Grant Funds Stormwater Reuse as part of the Pure Water Monterey Project

Prop 1 Grant Funds Stormwater Reuse as part of the Pure Water Monterey Project

By Mike McCullough, Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency

The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) and the City of Salinas were awarded a $10 Million Grant from the Water Quality, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1) to assist with stormwater management projects. The grant money will be put towards the design and construction of stormwater capture projects in and around the City of Salinas. All of the project components will benefit the Pure Water Monterey program, an innovative replacement water supply project with three primary goals; to provide a sustainable source of water supply through advanced water purification and groundwater injection, provide additional recycled water for agricultural irrigation and mitigate seawater intrusion.

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Plants for Bioretention: Tips for Design and Installation

Plants for Bioretention: Tips for Design and Installation

By Justin White, K&D Landscaping Inc

Over the last ten years, I have worked on many bioretention projects. Some were LID (low impact development) and served the purpose of improving an existing property with stormwater catchment elements. Other projects were new construction where the bioretention component played a major role in reducing or eliminating stormwater runoff. Below are a few tips I have picked up over the course of my career. 

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Rainwater Harvesting for Indoor Non-potable Use

Rainwater Harvesting for Indoor Non-potable Use

By Sherry Bryan, Ecology Action

Rainwater harvesting is a Low Impact Development (LID) practice that provides multiple watershed and community benefits. When rain or runoff water is retained in a cistern or tank for on-site use, the volume and intensity of runoff from a property is reduced, as is the potential for downstream flooding and erosion. When implemented on a regional scale, rainwater harvesting systems can improve the hydrologic health of the watershed by reducing demand from overdrafted groundwater wells and surface waters that supply potable-quality water for non-potable uses such as toilet flushing, clothes washing, and irrigation.

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Staying Up-to-date with Pervious Concrete Design

Staying Up-to-date with Pervious Concrete Design

By David Liguori, Bay Area Pervious Concrete

In the new reality of storm water management and BMP’s, just getting off the ground can be a daunting task. Site design has become anything but simple. The growing use of multiple site BMP’s can drive up both project complexity and cost. When integrated properly, pervious concrete can be an attractive one stop solution. It has the ability to function as a comprehensive stormwater system that not only reduces runoff, but can eliminate runoff entirely. Of course, like any product or process there are right and wrong ways to accomplish this goal, and knowing the difference is the key to success.

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Rainy Day Project Tour Highlights Low Impact Development Stormwater Infrastructure

Rainy Day Project Tour Highlights Low Impact Development Stormwater Infrastructure

Angie Gruys, Resource Conservation District

On December 15, the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County facilitated an all-day field tour of five Low Impact Development (LID) demonstration projects that were partially funded through a countywide Proposition 84 stormwater grant. The rain was a welcome surprise, which under most circumstances would have been a bust for an outdoor tour. We were able to watch runoff flowing through vegetated swales, across pervious pavement, and into groundwater recharge structures.

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Innovations in the Race to Recharge Our Aquifers

Innovations in the Race to Recharge Our Aquifers

By Chris Coburn, Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County

After several years of drought, Santa Cruz County residents have welcomed the deluges provided by the seemingly never-ending train of so-called atmospheric river storms rolling off of the pacific storms this past January. While the rain has certainly been welcome, some of the rainfall intensities as well as the sheer volume of precipitation have led to negative impacts. It’s hard to drive across the County without encountering numerous landslides and slip outs, potholes have become ubiquitous, and unfortunately some residents and agricultural lands have been inundated by flood waters.

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