Water3Water- Our Precious Resource

The City staff shall promote and practice water conservation through public education, self awareness and implementation of best management practices to help ensure effective and efficient usage of this valuable resource.

All About Water

Managing Our Resource

State Efforts
The 20x2020 Water Conservation Plan sets forth a statewide road map to maximize the state’s urban water efficiency and conservation opportunities between 2009 and 2020, and beyond. It aims to set in motion a range of activities designed to achieve the 20 percent per capita reduction in urban water demand by 2020. These activities include improving an understanding of the variation in water use across California, promoting legislative initiatives that incentivize water agencies to promote water conservation, and creating evaluation and enforcement mechanisms to assure regional and statewide goals are met.

City Efforts
The City of San Marino has adopted a "Model Water Ordinance" which meets the state requirements and promotes the efficient use of water. The purpose of this ordinance is to encourage the use of water-wise landscaping and irrigation systems. Water in the State of California is in limited supply and is subject to increasing demands. However, landscapes are essential to the quality of life in San Marino. In order to balance the needs of both San Marino residents and State water supplies, this ordinance will promote landscape and irrigation systems that are designed, installed, maintained and managed in a water efficient manner.

Water Conservation Programs

Metropolitan Water District
So Cal Water $mart-Rebates for efficiency improvements in homes, business and landscapes.
  • For Homes-High Efficiency toilets and cloths washers
  • For Businesses- Plumbing fixtures, HVAC, commercial kitchen equipment and more
  • For Garden and Landscapes-Sprinkler controllers, high efficiency nozzles, soil moisture sensors, rain barrels and turf grass removal


California American Water
California American Water Conservation Programs


Storm Water Management

Rain rushes off roofs, pavement and compacted soil in developed areas. This rush of stormwater causes flooding downstream, erodes soil and stream banks, and muddies the water, which harms fish and other wildlife. Stormwater picks up chemicals, debris, dirt, and other pollutants and flows into a storm sewer system or directly to a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water. Anything that enters most storm sewer systems is discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing and providing drinking water. Reducing irrigation water use, in combination with reducing impervious surface areas and pollutants such as pesticides, helps to minimize the negative impacts of stormwater runoff.

Let the Rain Soak In
Porous paving bricks and pervious parking areas can help reduce storm water runoff by allowing rainwater to soak into the ground.
You can help slow runoff and help the soil hold the moisture plants need in summer by directing downspouts out into lawns, rain gardens, or rain barrels; and limiting impervious "hardscape" surfaces.
Water5Raingardens - Raingardens are landscaped areas designed to soak up rainwater from your roof, driveway, and/or lawn. These gardens collect rainwater runoff and filter and slowly release it into the ground, and typically can retain 30 percent more rainwater than a conventional patch of lawn. By reducing the volume and velocity of storm water runoff, rain gardens help reduce soil erosion, filter fine particulates, and capture fertilizer and excess nutrients that can pollute rivers and lakes. Planting dense strips of native trees, shrubs and groundcovers next to streams, lakes and ditches helps to stabilize the soil and to slow and filter runoff.
• Mulch - Mulch is a layer of organic material like leaves, aged wood chips, or grass clippings that you spread around your plants. In the Rocky Mountains and Southwest, rock mulches are preferable. Mulch stabilizes soil temperature, prevents weeds, adds nutrients to the soil to help feed plants, and helps to conserve water. Mulch can be used in and around:
- Flower beds and vegetable gardens
- Trees, shrubs and woody perennials

- Lawns - Mulch your lawn? Yes, you can "grasscycle" (leave the clippings on the lawn when mowing). The clippings quickly decompose and release valuable nutrients back into the soil to feed the grass, reducing the need for fertilizer by 25 to 50 percent.

• Compost - Compost helps sandy soils hold nutrients and water, loosens clay soils, and feeds the beneficial soil life so it can feed and protect your plants. You can make your own compost at home, or buy it in bags or bulk.
• Limit impervious surfaces - Use porous pavement, gravel paving blocks, or other pavement options that let rain seep into the soil, in place of asphalt and traditional concrete. Porous pavement is a special type of pavement that allows rain and snowmelt to pass through it, thereby reducing the runoff from a site and surrounding areas. In addition, porous pavement can filter pollutants from the runoff.

Capture Rainwater
Another alternative is to collect rainwater from rooftops in rain barrels - mosquito-proof containers that collect and store rainwater that would otherwise wind up in storm drains and streams. Rain provides free "soft water" to homeowners-containing no chlorine, lime or calcium-making it ideal for gardens, flower pots, and car and window washing. A rain barrel can also be used to collect water and store it for when you need it most-during periods of drought-to water plants, wash your car, or to top off a swimming pool. A rain barrel will save the average homeowner about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months, or 40% of total household water use. In some drought-prone regions, rain barrels may not be legal, so check with local authorities before using them.

Reduce fertilizer and pesticide use
Chemical fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and gardens wash off and pollute streams and water bodies. In addition, yard clippings and leaves can wash into storm drains and contribute excessive nutrients and organic matter to the watershed. Use chemical pesticides and fertilizers sparingly and always in strict accordance with the application directions. Use compost and other non-toxic alternatives whenever possible. For more information about pesticide use in your lawn and garden, go to: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/controlling/garden.htm.

N.P.D.E.S- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
The purpose of this article is to ensure the future health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the city and the water quality of the receiving waters of the county of Los Angeles and surrounding coastal areas by:
1. Reducing pollutants in storm water discharges to the maximum extent practicable;
2. Regulating illicit connections and illicit discharges and thereby reducing the level of contamination of storm water and urban runoff in the municipal separate storm sewer system; and
3. Regulating nonstorm water discharges to the municipal separate storm sewer system.

*See related documents below for information on the City of San Marino Storm Water Management and Discharge Control Ordinance

Water Leak
For water emergency including a water main beak, meter leak, or to start or stop service, call Cal-American Water at (888) 422-5269.

To Report a Clogged Catch Basin
Call Public Works (626) 300-0793


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