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UCSD Project Reduces Polluted Runoff To La Jolla Beach

Audio

Aired 6/9/11

Surfers at a popular beach in La Jolla are enjoying cleaner water. A recently completed UC San Diego project is now capturing harmful pollutants before they reach the beach near the school.

A recently completed UC San Diego project is now capturing harmful pollutants before they reach a beach near the school.


A La Jolla surfing beach adjacent to Scripps Institution of Oceanography has significantly less water-borne pollution, due to the completion this year of an innovative project by UC San Diego.

Above: A La Jolla surfing beach adjacent to Scripps Institution of Oceanography has significantly less water-borne pollution, due to the completion this year of an innovative project by UC San Diego.

The popular surfing spot is adjacent to the school's Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

State water regulators required UCSD to reduce the amount of campus irrigation water and other polluted runoff draining to the beach.

"What we have installed is a series of systems that collect or redirect either what's called dry water flows or stormwater runoff," said Garry Mac Pherson, director of Environment, Health and Safety at UC San Diego.

He said the university recently completed the nearly $5 million water-pollution-control project.

"Irrigation water for plants and things that we do around our yards that run into the street eventually find their way to the storm drains and eventually to the beach," said Mac Pherson. "Unfortunately along the way they pick up all the sediments, metals, bacteria and phosphorus that find themselves on our streets and sidewalks and areas that eventually discharge to the beach."

UCSD paid for the project with about $4 million in grants and $1 million in campus funds.

"We finished all the installations and along the way have been collecting data to support the positive outcome of what we thought was going to be the case and now we do know is to be the case," Mac Pherson said. "Our systems are working, they are intercepting pollutants before water runs onto the beach and into our precious oceans."

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