MBNMS Volunteer Opportunities: First Flush
|Volunteer at Pico outfall in Pacific Grove, CA. Photo: K Terry|
Urban pollutants that are deposited on hard surfaces during dry weather are then washed away in winter rainstorms into rivers, storm drains and the ocean. The first winter rainstorm can have the highest concentration of pollutants because it is flushing months of built up pollutants that accumulate during the dry weather. These pollutants can be from sources such as brake dust, emissions from cars, animal waste, detergents from car washing, pesticides and fertilizers, among many other chemicals commonly found in and around homes and businesses.
First Flush is an annual storm water monitoring event occurring during the first significant rain storm of the season. Monitoring is conducted at storm drain outfalls that drain into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The goal of this effort is to characterize the storm water runoff that is flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary during the first major storm event of the season, in which there are "sheet flows" of water on the roadways. Field measurements are collected for water temperature, electrical conductivity, transparency and pH. Collected samples are lab analyzed for bacteria (E. coli and enterococcus), metals (copper, zinc, lead), nutrients (urea, nitrate, phosphate) and total suspended solids.
|First Flush at Twins outfall in Monterey, CA. Photo: L. Emanuelson|
For more information please check out these links
- Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary- Water Quality Program
- First Flush Reports
- Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary- Citizen Watershed Monitoring Network
- Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Volunteer Programs
- Coastal Watershed Council
- Monterey Regional Storm Water Management Program (MRSWMP)
- What Can You Do to Reduce Urban Runoff Pollution?