Saticoy Park Stormwater Capture Feasibility Study
The Ventura County Public Works Agency-Watershed Protection’s County Stormwater Program received Proposition 1 Disadvantaged Community (DAC) grant funding from the California State Department of Water Resources to develop a feasibility study and project concept for Stormwater Capture and Groundwater Recharge Project in Ventura County’s Saticoy Park. The feasibility study seeks to:
- Reduce stormwater pollution and improve water quality in the Santa Clara River Watershed,
- Meet bacteria Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) and Statewide Trash Amendment requirements,
- Provide for sustainable source of groundwater recharge,
- Reduce stormwater flows in Brown Barranca to mitigate flooding in the Saticoy Community, and
- Offer educational opportunities.
The Saticoy Park treatment area will cover 159 acres and capture and/or treat an estimated 57 acre-feet of stormwater per year. After removing trash and sediment, the stormwater runoff could be captured in an underground infiltration chamber located under the baseball field at Saticoy Park. Due to tight soils and low infiltration rates, water would be slowly infiltrating via infiltration tubing placed from 5 to 40 feet below ground surface. Any excess water will be further disinfected using UV Treatment to meet Bacteria TMDL requirements before, and then discharged back to Saticoy Drain.
Due to the limited potential for infiltration and groundwater recharge at the Saticoy Park site, the cost to construct and operate the proposed system is higher than expected. The 159-acre treatment area is mostly under the City of Ventura’s jurisdiction with the County contributing 5.5% of the drainage area (i.e., 8.7 acres). However, lower stormwater flows in Saticoy Drain, a tributary to Brown Barranca could mitigate flooding in the Saticoy community. If implemented, this proposed Project would offer benefits of stormwater capture, surface water quality improvement, groundwater recharge, trash capture, flood mitigation, public education, and Santa Clara River water quality improvements.
What Causes Urban Stormwater Runoff Pollution?
Stormwater and urban runoff from impervious surfaces are primary sources of water pollution to creeks, rivers, and the ocean. Such runoff contains nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), bacteria, hydrocarbons, fine sediments, metals, trash, and other pollutants that are toxic to aquatic organisms and potentially harmful to human health. Storm drain conveyance systems carry stormwater and urban runoff from urbanized areas without allowing for natural treatment of the flow. Heavy loads of pollutants entering natural waterbodies can also increase bank erosion and downstream sedimentation with a significant negative impact on aquatic ecosystems. In addition, stormwater conveyance systems do not allow for natural infiltration into the soil to replenish groundwater.