Water Runoff, What It Is and What You Can Do


Residential water runoff is an issue that should concern everyone in Orange County. It is a critical source of water pollution in ponds, rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. Because of this concern, 35 communities in the OC have joined up for the H2OC initiative which is a cooperative stormwater program. As a green-themed business, OC Junk Hauling salutes these communities and their efforts to keep our drinking & recreational waters clean.

Among those communities are Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Fountain valley, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Seal Beach.

Runoff, simply put, is rainwater that runs off your roof or driveway that IS NOT absorbed by the soil. Hard ground. Loose soil. Garbage and debris. Any and all of these contribute to the water not being properly absorbed into the ground. As runoff moves, it picks up and carries pollution. This can include trash, leaves, branches, oil, grease, antifreeze, pesticides, fertilizers and pet waste.

The sad result is contamination of water used for drinking, swimming, fishing and recreational areas.

The H2OC program offers several solutions which include rain barrels, mulch, and most interestingly rain gardens.


Described most efficiently by the University of California Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County, a rain garden “mimics nature: it intercepts run-off, decreases erosion, reduces pollutant transport, irrigates the plants in it, and acts as a mini-filtration system as it sends the rainwater back down into the aquifer.”

For a full description of how to build a rain garden, click here

The University of California (UC) suggests the following plants for Southern California rain gardens:

    • Creeping Wildrye: High water needs
    • Yerba Mansa: High water needs and can be used in the shade
    • NZ bush sedge: High water needs and can be used in the shade
    • Basket Rush: High water needs
    • Clustered Field Sedge: Medium water needs
    • Salt Grass: Medium water needs
    • Common/Spreading Rush: Medium water needs
    • Blue Sedge: Medium water needs and can be used in the shade
    • Mexican Rush: Medium water needs
    • Southwestern Spiny Rush: Medium water needs
    • Hummingbird Sage: Low water needs can be used in the shade
    • California polypody Fern: Low water needs and can be used in the shade
    • Common Yarrow: Low water needs
    • California Fuchsia: Low water needs

UC adds that this colorful garden will be natural-looking many months of the year and will attract birds, bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects as well.

OC Junk Hauling stands ready to assist you with your garden by taking away any trash, leaves, and bushes already on site, as well as any bags, containers, and unused supplies for the rain garden. Give us a call at 949-424-9265 and we will work with you to schedule one or several visits as you do your part to keep the OC safe from water runoff pollution.



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