Storm Water, Water Quality

Storm Water, Water Quality, and how you can help keep it clean.

Download the pdfWater Testing

Download the Santa Cruz County Fairground's pdf2018 Water System Consumer Confidence Report.


Storm water is defined by the US EPA as the runoff generated when precipitation from rain and snowmelt events flows over land or impervious surfaces without percolating into the ground. Storm water is often considered a nuisance because it mobilizes pollutants such as sediment, motor oil, and trash. In most cases, storm water flows directly to water bodies without being treated by a sewer system, contributing a major source of pollution to rivers, lakes, and the ocean. However, storm water may also act as a resource and recharge to groundwater when properly managed. The Water Boards are actively involved in initiatives to improve the management of storm water as a resource.

The San Cruz Fairgrounds is enrolled in the Phase II Municipal Storm Water Program as required by the State Water Resources Control Board and is administered by the Regional Water Control Board in San Luis Obispo. The Fairgrounds is on the outskirts of the City of Watsonville and within Santa Cruz County, both of which are enrolled under the same permit program. The Resource Conservation District (RCD) of Santa Cruz County has a number of links on their website about water-wise landscaping for homeowners that will aid in minimizing your impact to local water quality due to runoff. Some of these links include:

  1. "Slow it. Spread it. Sink It. A Homeowner's guide for Greening Stormwater Runoff" (
  2. Ocean Friendly Gardens. (
  3. Monterey Bay Friendly Landscaping (
  4. Water-Smart Gardening in Santa Cruz County (
  5. Healthy Livestock and Healthy Land (

Water generated in within Santa Cruz County flows into Monterey Bay. The Monterey Regional Stormwater Management Program (MRSWMP) website ( also has a wide variety of information that you can use in your home and garden to minimize your potential impact to local water bodies. They also have a video entitled "Storm Drain" at that can be watched in either English or Spanish that will increase your understanding of how to minimize your impact to water quality.

Additional information about storm water and water quality especially in relation to locations with horse and animal manure is as follows:

  1. pdfTop 10 Myths About Storm Water
  2. Publications and fact sheets from the Council of Bay Area Resource Conservation District:
    1. Horse Keeping (
    2. Composting Horse Manure (
    3. Land Application of Horse Manure (
    4. Manure Storage for Horse Facilities (
    5. Managing Manure: The Role of Riparian Buffers (
    6. Water Quality and Horse Keeping Facilities (
    7. Horse Paddocks (
    8. Equine Facilities (

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