Sources of Pollution

Lake San Marcos Dam, Photographed December 4, 2010 by Michael St.Onge

Most of the water that reaches the Batiquitos Lagoon comes from the watershed area, the total area where water would naturally drain downhill until it reaches the lagoon. The watershed area for the Batiquitos Lagoon is about 35,000 acres or 55 square miles. The water in this area typically arrives through rainfall and then flows down through gullies and streams that may flow into the San Marcos Creek or Encinitas Creek. Some of the water passes through Lake San Marcos and eventually all this water reaches the Batiquitos Lagoon. The total watershed area is identified on interactive the map below. If you zoom-in or look at the map in 3d you can get a better understanding of how the water flows into the lagoon.

When people first began developing the land within the watershed area of Batiquitos Lagoon, a common way to dispose of waste was to dump it in a waterway or bury it in a landfill.


View Watershed Area And Pollution Hazards Batiquitos Lagoon For in a larger map

By looking at the map, it is easy to see that finding any one pollution source would be very difficult and a large amount of the total pollution is likely from average households and businesses. Reducing the pollution that flows into the Batiquitos Lagoon is the responsibility of everyone living and working within this region. Everything done to reduce pollution can make a difference, even on a small scale. Click Here for ways that you can help reduce pollution.

Here is a list of examples of some of the pollution contributors.

Area of Natural Water Flow– Based off of topographical data, this is the total area where water naturally flows and could eventually reach the Batiquitos Lagoon.

Lake San Marcos– Lake San Marcos is a man-made lake built in 1946 and is filled by a constant flow of water from the San Marcos Creek. The lake is criticised for being polluted from various sources upstream, however, much of the water in this lake also flows into the Batiquitos Lagoon.

Lake San Marcos Dam– The construction of this dam in 1946 created Lake San Marcos. Although the dam regulates the water flow downstream and eventually into the Batiquitos Lagoon, the dam also prevents the heavy rain flows that would naturally prevent the Batiquitos Lagoon from filling up with silt. The dam at Lake San Marcos changes the natural water flow that the Batiquitos Lagoon has been exposed to since its geological formation.

Leucadia Wastewater District Facility– This facility has been a source of raw sewage spills into the Batiquitos Lagoon.

Batiquitos Pump Station– This is a sewer pump station for the Leucadia Wastewater District. This facility is located right next to the lagoon and has been a source of raw sewage spills into the Batiquitos Lagoon.

Meadowlark Water Reclamation Facility– This facility has been a source of raw sewage spills into the Batiquitos Lagoon.

West Lift Station– The West Lift Station is a sewer lift station located on the west side of Lake San Marcos. This sewer lift station was built to replace the old sewer lift station on the east side of the lake. The new sewer lift station is connected to the site of the old station by an 800-foot-long, 36-inch-diameter tunnel that goes right under Lake San Marcos.

North Batiquitos Interceptor– This is a sewer lift station that is located right next to the Batiquitos Lagoon. This facility is part of the City of Carlsbad sewer management and is a water pollution hazard.

Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation Nature Center– A nature center for information on everything related to the Batiquitos Lagoon.

Bradley Park, Old Landfill Site– Water Pollution Hazard for various toxic chemicals. This landfill was poorly contained yet a park has been built over the top of it. Even though the landfill has been closed for many years, this site is recorded as a source currently polluting waterways including Lake San Marcos.

San Marcos Landfill– Water Pollution Hazard. This landfill has been inactive since 2005.

Hollandia Dairy– This area was formerly a site for complete dairy facility. There is now only a processing facility. Water Pollution Hazard for processing chemicals, growth hormones, and antibiotics that are not biodegradable. Some of these pollutants are not removed after water treatment.

Encinitas Ranch Golf Course– Water Pollution Hazard for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

Aviara Golf Course– Water Pollution Hazard for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

La Costa Country Club Golf Course– Water Pollution Hazard for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

Lake San Marcos Executive Golf Course– Water Pollution Hazard for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

Lake San Marcos Country Club Golf Course– Water Pollution Hazard for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

Twin Oaks Golf Course– Water Pollution Hazard for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

Golden Circle Valley Country Club Golf Course– Water Pollution Hazard for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

Roads, Highways, and Train Tracks– Water Pollution Hazard for trash, motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, petroleum products, and anything else that leaks out or gets tossed out.

Household Green Lawns– Water Pollution Hazard for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Often caused by over-watering grass.

Industrial Businesses– Water Pollution Hazard for various different types of chemical waste that is not properly stored and disposed of.