The Storm Drain Detectives program is an educational effort that hopes
to provide monthly water quality measurements and occasional toxicity
tests that can help the community understand
Lodi’s storm drain impact on the Mokelumne River. The Storm Drain
Detectives will bring the condition of
Lodi’s waterways and the effects that Lodi’s storm drains have on
the river to the attention of the City and the
Lodi's storm drains and the
In Lodi's storm system,
all the rain water and yard run-off water on the street flows to a storm
drain. In general, the storm drains south of Lockeford Street flow
to the WID canal, and the storm drains north of Lockeford Street flow to
the Mokelumne River and Lodi Lake. One major exception is the
eastern portion of the city, east of Central Ave. and north of Kettleman
Lane, which also drains to the river.
A storm drain is very different from the drains
inside a home. Any water that leaves your house through a kitchen
or bathroom drain flows to a sewage treatment facility. At a
sewage treatment facility, the water undergoes a cleaning process.
Water that flows down a storm drain does not make its way to a water
treatment facility. Instead, whatever flows down a storm drain
flows directly to a river, canal, lake, or other body of water.
That is where the Storm Drain Detectives come into the picture.
They want to help to determine if what is flowing off of the streets of
Lodi is harming the Mokelumne River and Lodi Lake.
Anything that goes into a storm drain will
probably find its way to the river. Unfortunately, water is not
the only thing that is flowing into rivers from storm drains. Yard
waste, poisons, fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, detergents, oil, and
litter also enter storm drains. These unwanted substances can have
a negative effect on a river. Dissolved oxygen, turbidity,
temperature, pH, conductivity, and toxicity are all qualities of water
that can be changed in the presence of certain substances. If the
delicate balance between these qualities is disturbed in a river
environment, many animals and plants are put at risk. If any part
of a river ecosystem fails due to the presence of unwanted pollutants in
the water, the entire river environment is put in danger. If a
river reaches such a point, then its waters and wildlife will be harmed
and it may be closed to public access.
In Lodi, the Storm Drain Detectives' job is to
monitor the Mokelumne River's quality and help find out if our storm
drains are harming the river. Through programs such as the Storm
Drain Detectives and public awareness, hopefully the Mokelumne River
will always be a beautiful place for our community to enjoy. Help
the river out now by watching what you and your neighbors put down our