Monitoring Pollutants

The Clean Water Program conducts water quality monitoring on behalf of its member agencies in many parts of Alameda County, coordinating with other stormwater programs throughout the region. The goals and minimum monitoring activities are described in Provision C.8 of the Stormwater Discharge Permit. Monitoring results for each Water Year (October through September) are summarized in reports submitted to the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.

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The Program’s monitoring activities include:

  • Creek Status and Pesticides/Toxicity monitoring to evaluate general creek health and water quality conditions in representative watersheds in Alameda County.
  • Special Studies at specific locations, to evaluate possible negative impact of stormwater runoff on local creeks and lakes, and identify the causes of such impacts where possible.
  • Monitoring “Pollutants of Concern” (see below) focused on substances that are known or suspected to cause water quality problems in the Bay Area.
  • Contributions to the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay , both financially and by sending staff to help with planning and technical reviews.

Pollutants of Concern

  • Mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are typically found in low concentrations, but accumulate to unsafe levels in the Bay’s food chain. 
  • Pesticides in local creeks can come from residents and businesses, and are highly toxic to aquatic life.
  • Copper is checked periodically. It is also toxic to aquatic life but on track to be eliminated from brake pads, its major source in urban areas.

Additional Resources