Operation: San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary

Irvine Ranch Water District has a unique program that uses restored wetlands at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary to naturally clean urban runoff (storm water) from the San Diego Creek Watershed (located in central Orange County).

A large portion of the runoff is diverted into the system of manmade ponds where it flows for 7 to 10 days. This gives plants and soils in the ponds time to naturally remove pollutants. The cleaner water is then delivered back into the creek to continue its journey through Upper Newport Bay to the ocean. How many ponds are there? Are there any differences that you can see between them?

Hint: Pick up a map at any information booth.

Operation: S.J. Wildlife Sanctuary (click to download)