News Flash

Home

Posted on: August 3, 2018

Wanted - Water Quality Watchdogs

water quality

August is National Water Quality Month and the City of Watsonville is requesting help reporting crimes committed against our watershed. Vigilant residents can make a difference when it comes to preventing the pollution of local creeks.

Water Quality Watchdogs Wanted

August is National Water Quality Month in the United States, and the City of Watsonville is seeking the support of our Watsonville community members to ensure the health of our watershed. There are several ways to stay engaged in environmental quality and vital, daily actions that individuals can take to safeguard our local creeks, river, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Recently, an ongoing issue of illegal vandalism and toxic dumping has frustrated dedicated City Water Supply staff, who are calling on Watsonville residents for help. If you witness someone in the act of vandalism, littering, or dumping toxic trash into any creek or the Pajaro River, please dial the City's non-emergency response line at (831) 471-1151.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 12.13.58 PM

Water Supply Staff Lend a Helping Hand

Mike Molfino, Senior Water Operator for Watsonville's Public Works Department, has a longterm relationship with caring for the City's water supply. Mike and team are an integral part of the City's Water Division, responsible for one of life's most valuable resources: drinking water. The City's regional water system consists of 190 miles of pipelines, 14 wells, 8 reservoirs, and the Corralitos Filtration Plant treatment plant that delivers clean, safe water to a service population of 66,000+ customers. Monitoring the water that feeds the City illustrates a clear connection between the significance of a healthy water supply and the importance of maintaining a pristine environment. Recently, Mike's crew has made the unfortunate discovery of vandalism and toxic dump sites upstream of the City's Corralitos Water Filtration Plant. Toxic spray paint coating the underside of a local bridge and illegal cans of open paint, empty bottles of alcohol, and spray bottles are found strewn about the scene, often directly in the water. 





The City of Watsonville's Water Division.

"Our team's entire goal in work and our major personal motivation is to provide clean water to our deserving Watsonville residents. It is discouraging to see that a few irresponsible individuals can contaminate our water, which affects the health of our creeks, rivers, and all of the plants and animals that depend on this water," Mike explained. He continued "While our water is filtered and tested before it is delivered to humans, there is no check and balance, no water filter for all of the organisms in nature that are receiving dirtied water."

The City is grateful for Mike's dedication, as his water crew voluntarily delays their other work to clean up the mess as frequently as they can. Cleanups, however, are a last ditch effort. Trash is often already carried away by the stream, and harmful chemicals from the paints and spray cans have seeped directly into the water.

Vandalism, littering, and illegally dumping poisonous materials into any public body of water in Watsonville's watershed is illegal. The City relies our residents to be our eyes and ears, our on-the-ground water protectors.

IMG_3410 (1)

IMG_3409 (1)

Open spray paint and beer cans litter the ground and float in the water near Corralitos Filter Plant, Corralitos Creek, 2018. A newly tagged vandalism site is harsh on the eye. Photos courtesy of Mike Molfino.

What You Can Do

If you witness someone in the act of vandalism, littering, or dumping toxic trash into any creek or the Pajaro River, please do the following:

  • Dial 471-1151 - this is the City's non-emergency response line.
  • Do your best to identify your location. Describe local landmarks, nearby cross streets, names of bridges, etc. to help clarify your site.
  • Do not put yourself in harm's way. Your safety is our highest priority. Do not instigate arguments with those who are involved in illegal activity.
  • If you can safely take a photo, please do so. This will be helpful to provide to enforcement, as well as any details about what you witnessed.

*Please note: Do not call the non-emergency hotline to report existing trash/vandalism. This number is to be used should you witness people participating in these illegal activities. 

36088391_1791935874205904_29780375517528064_n

Help Stop Illegal Dumping:

The City of Watsonville provides resources to appropriately and safely dispose of waste, and we need your help spreading the word. Our Waste and Recycling Center at 320 Harvest Drive accepts most recyclable items for free, including up to 9 tires per person, per year, and mattresses, two of our more commonly found items buried in the river mud. If you find yourself with extra large trash last minute, please see if we can take it, or if items can be reused and donated! Call (831) 768 - 3100 for more information.

Let your friends and family know that there are alternatives to illegal dumping, the last place we want these items to end up is at the bottom of a river, it takes more effort and more money to remove, and we know that nobody wants a dirty backyard.


Save Our Shores' volunteers remove tires from the Pajaro River.

Be proactive! Celebrate National Water Quality Month this August and beyond by following some of these easy, daily steps to support clean water:

  • Do not flush any unwanted or out-of-date medications down the toilet or drain.
  • Do not put anything but water down storm drains, they lead directly to our creeks and wetlands without receiving any filtration process.
  • Regularly check your car and fix any leaks. Place liners in driveways to collect oil and other materials that drop from cars.
  • Avoid using pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
  • Choose nontoxic household products when possible.
  • If you have an animal companion, pick up all of their waste and throw it away appropriately in the trash can.

Vandalism, toxic trash, and illegal dumping issues are continuous and the City of Watsonville is grateful to all residents, partner organizations, and neighboring jurisdictions that participate in solution-building. The City and Public Works' Water Division sincerely appreciate the support of our dedicated community to care for our water and environment.

ivan-vranic-327517-unsplash

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home

holidays in the plaza

Holidays in the Plaza

Posted on: November 23, 2018
Thanksgiving Closure (1)

Thanksgiving Closure

Posted on: November 21, 2018
factory__sale

Watsonville Holiday Factory Sale

Posted on: November 19, 2018
PCS Post _

Watsonville resident goes the extra mile

Posted on: November 9, 2018
items considered to be e-waste

E-Waste: What to do with it

Posted on: November 1, 2018
first time home buyer forum 9.19.18

First Time Home Buyers Forum

Posted on: September 7, 2018
PinkPatch Project (2)

Support WPD & WFD's Pink Patch Project

Posted on: August 29, 2018
FLYERS FLYER

FLYERS Afterschool Program

Posted on: August 27, 2018
first time home buyer forum

First Time Home Buyers Forum

Posted on: August 18, 2018
strawberryfestival

Watsonville Strawberry Festival

Posted on: July 17, 2018
music in the plaza

Music in the Plaza

Posted on: July 17, 2018
Parks and recs month

July is Parks & Rec Month

Posted on: July 17, 2018
FAMILY FUN FESTIVAL

Family Fun Festival

Posted on: June 4, 2018
open streets

Open Streets Watsonville

Posted on: May 17, 2018
strategic plan goals

City Council Strategic Plan Goals

Posted on: April 27, 2018
art walk

Wine, Beer & Art Walk

Posted on: April 4, 2018
smoke alarms_

Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives!

Posted on: April 4, 2018
CesarChavezDay

City Offices Closed March 30, 2018

Posted on: March 29, 2018
150Club_news

Will You be One of Only 150?

Posted on: March 28, 2018
Facebook 150th Birthday_

150th Birthday Celebration

Posted on: March 1, 2018
virtual kidnapping

Virtual Kidnapping

Posted on: March 19, 2018
compost time_

It’s compost time!

Posted on: March 12, 2018
Town Hall Meeting

Town Hall Meeting

Posted on: March 5, 2018
Special Municipal Election_Web

Special Municipal Election

Posted on: March 2, 2018
150 things to do and see

150 Things to Do and See in Watsonville

Posted on: February 20, 2018
youth soccer_web

Spring 2018 Youth Soccer

Posted on: February 7, 2018
plaza 1920s

Watsonville City Plaza in 1920's

Posted on: January 23, 2018
Cesar Chavez Community Awards

Annual Cesar E. Chavez Community Awards

Posted on: January 18, 2018
RISE Art Classes

RISE Community Art Classes

Posted on: January 9, 2018
holiday closure

Holiday Closure

Posted on: December 26, 2017
Traffic Safety Education Starlight Elementary School

Office of Traffic Safety Grant Program

Posted on: November 22, 2017
150_logo_Final- web

Watsonville is Celebrating 150 Years

Posted on: September 5, 2017
KUWW

Keeping Up With Watsonville

Posted on: April 20, 2017
Paint

Recycle Your Used Motor Oil and Paint

Posted on: October 28, 2011
PIntoLake

Pinto Lake City Park

Posted on: April 21, 2017