Drinking Water

Q:  Why is drinking water bad for fish?

A:  Drinking water contains low concentrations of chloramines, which kills fish and other creek critters.

Q: Why are there chloramines in drinking water?

A: About 10 years ago EBMUD switched disinfectants from gas chlorine to chloramines because of the following reasons:

  • less toxic to humans
  • safer for workers to handle
  • lasts longer in the distribution system

Q: How does drinking water enter our creeks?

A: Through the storm drains!

Water can come from:

  • Water main/ fire hydrant breaks
  • Irrigation leaks
  • DIY car washes
  • Power washing sidewalks and streets
  • Construction activities

What you can do:

1.  Report a water main break immediately! Call (510) 642-3073

     What does a water main break look like?

  • Water gushing out of the ground
  • Water going into a storm drain on a clear day 
  • Not sure? Call anyway!

2.  Don’t let your water go down a storm drain!

  • Wash your car at a commercial facility
  • Use alternatives to power washing
  • Don’t over-irrigate
  • Fix irrigation leaks

What UC Berkeley is doing:

Regular training for maintenance, grounds, and plumbing staff

Drought Action Plan : phase-out of lawns, fixing irrigation systems


Learn more about other creek pollutants...

Drinking Water -
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Pesticides and Herbicides

Sewage Overflows


Hazardous Materials