Stormwater Pollution & Prevention


Alameda Creek flowing, with rocks in the creek, surrounded by trees with fall colors.

Keeping our Water Healthy

Healthy creeks, rivers, lakes and bays are important to Zone 7 and we provide resources to residents and businesses to avoid water pollution and encourage personal action to prevent polluted runoff from entering our waterways.

Arroyo with patches of algae and concrete fish ladder, large oak tree in the background

What is a Watershed?

No matter where you live .… you live in a watershed.

A watershed is the land area that channels rainfall to creeks, streams, rivers and eventually to reservoirs, bays, lakes and the ocean. In other words, all of the land in Zone 7 leads to at least one body of water; so no matter where you stand, you are in a watershed!

The water that drains within the watersheds of Zone 7 also carries pollutants like litter, cigarette butts, fertilizer, pesticides, pet waste, motor oil and lawn clippings, which are transported to our streams, rivers or channels and swept out to larger bodies of water.

Sunset over the San Francisco Bay

Zone 7 Watersheds

Bethany Reservoir and Lake Del Valle collect water that flows across the land surrounding each body of water.

The Alameda Creek Watershed consists of many streams, arroyos, and groundwater channels that converge and drain the region’s stormwater runoff into Alameda Creek, the third largest tributary to the San Francisco Bay. The Alameda Creek Watershed, covers about 700 square miles from Mt. Diablo in the north to Mt. Hamilton in the south. It is also one of the Bay Area’s largest watersheds.

The northern watershed includes Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin and San Ramon where the arroyos channel water to the Alameda Creek which then carries water out to the San Francisco Bay. Arroyo is Spanish for “dry stream” and describes a stream or creek that dries out or fills up with water, depending on the time of year or weather. These arroyos, in constant flux, play a vital role in wildlife habitat, water supply, a conduit for flood waters, opportunities for recreation, and a host of aesthetic and environmental values. Protecting our arroyos is vital to a healthy watershed and the ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay.

Alameda Creek with bridge, golden hills in the background.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties.  Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and when it has been concluded that the use of non-chemical controls is insufficient.  Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and nontarget organisms, and the environment (California Department of Pesticide Regulation, 2018). In short, it is using the least toxic methods first.

Integrated Pest Management Policy

Pollution Prevention Tips

When it comes to the contamination that harms our watersheds, groundwater resources, and the Bay, you are the solution!

From washing your car, picking up litter, clearing storm drains, controlling garden pests, or properly disposing of old paint or other hazardous items, every little bit makes a difference. To learn more, check out the Alameda County Clean Water Program. Together we work to safeguard the health of our creeks, wetlands and bay.

Visit StopWaste to learn how you can safely dispose of your household hazardous waste, keep your home and our watersheds toxic free!

See a spill? Report it!

Four smiling Living Arroyos volunteers participating in a creek cleanup event

Living Arroyos

This multi-agency partnership enhances and maintains the urban streams and streamside habitats of the Livermore-Amador Valley, while continuing to protect drinking water supplies and prevent flooding. The program relies on active community support and involvement.

Program volunteers create beautiful, safe, natural areas that serve the needs of people and other living things.

Living Arroyos increases opportunities for local residents to engage in hands-on watershed stewardship, and to establish relationships with streams near their homes.

Get involved

Group of volunteers at Stanley Reach cleanup holding a map of the Alameda Creek Watershed.

Other Volunteer Opportunities for Creek Cleanups

Zone 7 is participating in the Adopt-a-Creek Spot program in Livermore. The program is looking for groups to adopt spots on a year-round basis.

As part of the annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, Zone 7 will assist the Valley’s cities in organizing community cleanups of trash, old tires and other debris along several creeks.

Annually, hundreds of pounds of trash and recyclable material, dozens of tires, and things like shopping carts, are pulled from our Valley’s arroyos. To learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities, see our calendar of events.

Calendar of Events

Alameda County Wide Map Showing Projects that have Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development Features.