The Coastal Watershed Council has published the 2015 First Flush Report. Thank you to all of the volunteers who made this study possible, waking up early on a November morning to head out into the first significant rainfall of the year (that’s what a ‘first flush’ is!) to collect water samples and field data. You can read the full report here.

Some takeaways from the 2015 First Flush for the City of Capitola:

  • No oil sheen was observed during the event, suggesting better prevention of nonpoint source pollution. That means that people like you are doing a better job of preventing oil leaks – good work!
  • Mirroring 2014 outcomes, we measured an excess of orthophosphate, suggesting that urban runoff may be contributing to nutrient levels in Soquel Creek. One thing you can do to reduce orthophosphate is to eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers in your garden, especially before rainfall.
  • As in previous years there was an excess of bacteria (E. Coli, enterococcus, and total Coliform) at all monitored sites. Some things you can do to reduce bacteria from human and animal sources are clean up after pets, reduce litter that may attract birds and report leaking sewer lines.

Thank you to the City of Capitola Public Works Department for making this study possible. And another big thank you to all of the First Flush volunteers! If you’re interested in water quality monitoring, sign up for Urban Watch happening throughout the summer in the Soquel Creek watershed.

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