Types of Pollution

Batiquitos Lagoon Water Film, Photographed November 14, 2010 by Michael St.Onge

Water Pollution Categories

Point Source Pollution– Pollution that enters a waterway from a defined source such as a storm drain or sewage treatment plant.

Non–Point Source Pollution– Pollution that enters a waterway from multiple sources over a large area and no one source can be identified. Examples would be pollutants on streets, agricultural fields, and household lawns.

Various Pollutants that Enter the Batiquitos Lagoon

Trash– This is one of the most visible forms of pollution. Trash collects in plants and rocks everywhere within our waterways. Trash is not only look bad, but it is also harmful to the environment. Trash such as plastics, can release toxins that are not easily decomposed. In addition, animals that find the trash can die by getting stuck in it or from trying to eat it. Trash debris can kill  The big problem with trash is that it can last a long time, sometimes thousands of years, and it keeps collecting. Please recycle and dispose of trash properly.

Sediments– Sediments in the form of sand, mud, and other debris are one of the greatest threats to a lagoon. Sediments flow naturally through waterways, however sediments tend to flow more rapidly when land is developed. The soil that was once covered in vegetation becomes exposed and accelerates erosion. The result is visible in the Batiquitos lagoon and the lagoon is once again silting-up. Over time the lagoon continually collects silt until it either completely fills up or it gets flushed out with large storms. One of the major sources of silt includes business and housing construction, a common occurrence is this region. The water runoff from these construction projects within the watershed area washes a lot of mud into storm drains and eventually reaches the lagoon. Before the construction of the San Marcos Dam the lagoon would get flushed out during large storms.

Sewage– Many years ago when the area surrounding the lagoon was being developed, raw sewage was disposed of through the local waterways. The sewage flowed straight into the lagoon. This is not the case anymore, however numerous raw sewage spills still occur. You can read about some of these spills in the News section of this website. When sewage is spilled into the lagoon, it impacts the natural balance within the lagoon. This can cause algae plumes and excessive plant growth which can turn water green while the sewage is decomposing or being flushed out by tidal flows. Other animals may also be affected by the imbalance. The increased algae growth lowers oxygen levels and may result in fish die offs. This can lead to imbalances further up the food chain as well.

Click Here to see the watershed map and where some of the pollutants in the Batiquitos Lagoon come from.