Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (MCSTOPPP)
This unique department with Marin County conducts many services for Marin’s residents and watersheds. Their website includes a plethora of resources to learn from and can be viewed by clicking HERE. Additionally, if you’re looking for tips on your home and garden from MCSTOPPP, they have a bountiful amount of resources that can be found HERE. You can reach their Outreach Coordinator, Angela Clapp Aclapp@marincounty.org for more information.
See Emergency Projects section under Resources by clicking HERE.
As of October 2014, Marin Municipal Water District is offering limited time rebates on eligible water conserving products! Products include;
- organic mulch
- rain barrels
- pool covers
- hot water recirculating systems
- laundry-to-landscape system components
Click HERE to learn about these products.
The North Marin Water District is offering residential customers a cash incentive for removing automatically irrigated lawn area in their landscapes and replacing with District approved, low water use planted landscapes. The NMWD incentive will pay you up to $50 per 100 square feet of lawn area. The incentive is limited to $400 for single family dwellings, $100 for townhouses or condominiums, and $50 for apartments. To find out more about this Cash for Grass Program and others that NMWD is implementing to save on water, click HERE. To fill out an application for this program, click HERE.
Rainwater Catchment Systems
By collecting rainwater, you serve as an environmental steward, are prepared in case of an emergency and you save money while nourishing your plants.
Speaking of emergencies, check out how San Francisco uses cisterns in the name of tackling emergencies such as fires in the city!
On Blue Barrel’s Rainwater Catchment Systems’ website (Click HERE), you can learn how to site your system, calculate the amount of rainwater that can be harvested and order your very own RainKit! They make it too easy not to set up your own system. They also provide hands-on workshops that show you how to set up your system, why wait? Visit their workshop page HERE!
If you want to learn more about rain gardens and how to construct them, you should purchase Creating Rain Gardens Capturing the Rain for Your Own Water-Efficient Garden by Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and Apryl Uncapher. It includes information on:
- ephemeral pools
- living roofs
- permeable patios
- rain barrels
Rain Gardens Save Coho Salmon!
A new study was recently released on behalf of Washington State University, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) showing that stormwater runoff from urban roadways is so toxic to coho salmon that it can kill adult fish as quickly as 2.5 hours. The study also looked to a solution, RAIN GARDENS! Sandi Doughton with The Seattle Times reported, “[but] the research by Seattle scientists also points to a relatively easy fix: Filtration through a simple, soil-based system. “It’s basically … letting the Earth do what it does so well, what it has done for eons: cleaning things up,” said Julann Spromberg, a toxicologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and co-author of the report published Thursday in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The finding is a strong endorsement of rain gardens, grassy swales and other “green” alternatives to traditional drains and pipes designed to collect stormwater. The idea is instead to let the runoff percolate through the ground, as it did before so much of the area was paved and developed” (October 8, 2015). To read the full article on The Seattle Times, click HERE.
A newer publication in The Seattle Times has come out in 2017 regarding the impacts of stormwater, laden with lethal toxins, on coho salmon specifically. Click HERE to read the full story where they continue exploring this phenomena, “[i]n their research, scientists found that so-called coho pre-spawn mortality is related not only to the percentage of impervious surface in their home stream environment, but specifically to the volume of traffic.”
Laundry to Landscape
Graywater is water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom sinks, washing machines, and laundry tubs. Graywater does not include waste water from toilets, urinals, kitchen sinks, dishwashers, photo lab sinks, or water from soiled diapers. It is not reclaimed water distributed through “purple pipes.” Graywater can be diverted from the sewer or septic system and used for landscape irrigation and constructed wetlands. The 2013 California Plumbing Code (CPC) classifies graywater systems based on construction and volume. Different requirements govern each system.
Marin County allows the reuse of graywater for irrigation landscapes in effort to conserve water. Click HERE to view their Fact Sheet on their laundry to landscape requirements including permitting information and associated fees.