The Ventura County Public Works Agency’s Watershed Protection District (VCPWA WPD) and United Water Conservation District (UWCD) has completed construction on the Piru Stormwater Capture for Groundwater Recharge Project that will work to improve the quality of water in Piru Creek.
The project, which has already started to capture storm water runoff with the ongoing storms, will treat approximately 17 acre-feet per year (AFY) of runoff from 36 urban acres located in the Piru community. The captured runoff from the existing storm drain system will be transported to the existing but inactive UWCD Piru Spreading Grounds and will be spread to recharge the Piru Groundwater Basin. Before entering the spreading grounds debris, sediment, trash and other pollutants will be removed by a pre-treatment device, a 10-ft diameter Continuous Deflective Separation (CDS) unit.
“The Piru Stormwater Capture for Groundwater Recharge Project will have dual benefits to improve water quality to meet compliance with Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load and groundwater recharge/ water supply enhancement,” explains Ewelina Mutkowska, VCPWA WPD, Stormwater Program Manager. “This will help improve the water quality of Piru Creek and add recharge to the Piru Groundwater Basin. Capture of stormwater runoff is a sustainable source for groundwater recharge, and we need to look for more similar opportunities to enhance our water supply sources countywide”.
Under pre-project conditions, storm drains directed stormwater runoff to Piru Creek on its way to the ocean. The Santa Clara River (SCR) downstream of Piru Creek has documented bacteria water quality impairments and is subject to federal Clean Water Act regulations set by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (LA-RWQCB). As described by the LA-RWQCB, available monitoring data indicates that the major contributors of bacteria loading to the river and SCR Estuary are dry- and wet-weather urban runoff discharges from stormwater conveyance systems. This project, funded by the State Proposition 1 Storm Water Grant Program, captures urban runoff, improves water quality and recharges groundwater.