Welcome to Kid's Corner. Where you can get the story on stormwater pollution, and learn why our creeks, bays and ocean get polluted. Discover what you and your friends can do to help prevent pollution, and how to play it safe, in your neighborhood and at the beach.


Stormwater pollution happens because dirty water contaminated with stuff like trash, cigarette butts and dog poop, goes from the street into our creeks, bays and the ocean. This dirty water flows through storm drains, so it's called stormwater pollution. See if you know some of these other important stormwater words:

atch Basins
Catch basins are the openings in the gutter at the corner of the street. They catch water as it runs down the gutter, so they're called catch basins. Once something is swept, blown or washed into a catch basin, it goes directly to the ocean. That's why catch basins are for water only. Not trash.

When it rains, or when people use their sprinklers on their lawn or a hose to wash their car, the water runs down the gutter and into catch basins. This runoff mixes with garbage, motor oil and other nasty stuff in the street and flows out into the ocean.

torm Drains
Storm drains are the concrete openings or metal pipes you can see at the beach, that have water flowing from them into the ocean. If you see a large pool of water near a storm drain, stay away. It is polluted and could make you sick. Never play in the water flowing from a storm drain, or go in the ocean directly in front of a storm drain.

When the beach is closed because it isn't safe to swim in the ocean, it happens because of contamination. Contamination means something has polluted the water and made it unhealthy for swimming and sea creatures.

It's not a building. It's a place. We all live in a watershed, a large area, even bigger than a city, where water drains through the streets, river beds and mountains down to the beach. Understanding how watersheds work helps us understand how to keep our rivers, lakes and the ocean clean.

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Stay away from storm drains at the beach.
Don't swim in front of or near a storm drain.
Play away from puddles or pools of water near storm drains.
Take a break from swimming or surfing for at least 3 days after it rains, when stuff from the street gets washed into the ocean.
Don't pour anything into the street or a catch basin. It ends up in the ocean.
Pick up after your pet when you walk him (or her).
Don't litter. It trashes the beach.

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Orange County's water education programs:

The Municipal Water District of Orange County offers a variety of education programs available to local schools, to help kids learn more about water and water pollution.

School education:

A guest speaker can visit your classroom or school assembly. School education programs include presentations, skits and programs to help teachers incorporate water education into the classroom. For more information, please visit www.mwdoc.com/services/school-programs or contact Jessica Ouwerkerk, Public Affairs Supervisor, (714) 593-5029

Poster and slogan contest:

The Water District has a poster and slogan contest every year for kids, kindergarten through 6th grade. The winning entries go in a calendar that is sent to every classroom teacher in Orange County elementary schools. Contest winners, their families and teachers win prizes and are honored at an awards ceremony and ice cream social. For more information, please visit www.mwdoc.com/services/poster-slogan or contact Jessica Ouwerkerk, Public Affairs Supervisor , (714) 593-5029

O.C. Water Hero Program:

Orange County Water District and the Municipal Water District of Orange County are excited to present the O.C. Water Hero program to Orange County students. Through this program, students make a pledge to save 20 gallons of water per day by doing simple things like turning off the water when brushing their teeth or taking 5-minute or less showers. Once we receive their pledge, the student will receive a FREE O.C. Water Hero kit that includes items like a 5-minute shower timer, water-saving tips stickers, a flexible flying disc, and more fun water-saving items. For more information, please visit www.ocwaterhero.com or contact, Jessica Ouwerkerk, Public Affairs Supervisor , (714) 593-5029.


The EnviroScape ® is a cool way to learn about stormwater pollution. It is a portable, interactive educational table top model that demonstrates the sources of non-point source pollution and how it can affect our waterways. It is a hands-on education and communication tool, effective for all ages, and allows participants to relate water pollution sources in their communities to the impacts on our creeks, bays and ocean. Interested in having one of the models at a public event or educational class? Call the Orange County Stormwater Program at (714) 955-0672, or send an e-mail to Jenna.voss@ocpw.ocgov.com.


Kid power can prevent stormwater pollution. It happens every day. Kids like you, making a real difference, by volunteering for activities and events that help keep our channels, creeks, bays and ocean clean. If you want to dive into one of the many opportunities there are to volunteer, visit our links or the volunteer information on the County's Watershed Division web site. From beach and park cleanups to nature walks, wildlife protection programs, water quality monitoring and more, there's always something going on in your community. Check it out.

For more information:

Please visit the OC Watersheds Kids Corner website: http://ocwatersheds.com/publiced/kidscorner

To learn more about stormwater pollution:

The Ocean Begins at Your Front Door

Do You Know Where Runoff Goes in Orange County?

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