Rainy Season and Rain Barrels

county of san diego watershed protection program


Mulch October 2020

Get Rainfall-Ready and Stormwater-Smart!

October 1st marks the start of the rainy season. Now it’s time to take advantage of our rainfall’s natural benefits. Not only will it beautify and nourish your landscape, if leveraged properly in your landscaping, it can reduce water waste and stormwater runoff. During a rainstorm, runoff from roofs, sidewalks, and driveways can carry trash, pet waste, pesticides, fertilizers, automobile fluids, and other pollutants into our storm drains. Here in San Diego County, water in storm drains is not treated before it reaches our local creeks, rivers, and the ocean. Be stormwater-smart by leveraging natural rainfall to preserve the quality of our beautiful waterways!

The 4 S’s of Leveraging Rainfall

  • Slow It – Spread fresh leaf or wood chip mulch throughout the garden and direct water from downspouts to vegetated or landscaped areas where water can be absorbed; add a rain barrel at the bottom of the downspout and allow it to overflow into the garden
  • Store It – Harvest and store rainfall directly into rain barrels or cisterns connected to downspouts; stored water can be gradually released into the landscape between rains ensuring plants are adequately watered when they need it the most
  • Spread It – Direct water from impermeable areas like walkways or driveways to landscaped areas; direct water to a variety of permeable surfaces that allow for better water absorption like gravel, porous concrete, permeable pavement, or pavers
  • Sink It – Dig small depressions, or create a dry creek or swale to spread the water and ensure it passes through as much of the natural landscape as possible before it moves off of your yard and becomes runoff

The Bonus ‘S’: See It Through

Be stormwater-smart and get your discounted rain barrel today to help conserve water and prevent stormwater pollution. Or consider making your own D-I-Y rain barrel using these instructions.

For other ways to prevent stormwater pollution throughout the year, visit our Watershed Protection Program page.

Rain barrel October 2020


Find My District


Report Stormwater Pollution
Report observed pollution to the correct jurisdiction.

Citizen Access Portal
Research property information and permits. Apply for some permits online.

GIS Maps
Find property information including zoning designation with our web-based mapping tool. 

Watershed Protection Website


project clean water

Project Clean Water efforts are focused on providing a centralized point of access to water quality information and resources for San Diego County Watersheds. Click HERE to visit Project Clean Water’s website. 

To learn more about the County of San Diego - Watershed Protection Program, please visit sandiegocounty.gov/stormwater