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Big Storm Leaves San Francisco Bay Waters Strewn With Debris

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- The big storm brought a lot of much-needed moisture to the Bay Area, but it also brought a lot of stuff into the San Francisco Bay that doesn't belong in the bay.

"Basically, anything that's in the city on the street is coming into the storm drain with the rain and getting washed out into the bay and into our local creeks," said Sajel Choksi-Chugh, the executive director for San Francisco Baykeeper. "We're looking at stormwater runoff that has pollutants from every single paved area around the bay, we're looking at industrial pollution, we're also looking at wastewater overflows."

She and her team scooped up visible trash and debris from the bay on Wednesday. This is something that typically happens after a big storm, according to Choksi-Chugh.

"The trash on our streets and in our creeks gets washed out into the bay," she said.

However, it's the pollutants that aren't necessarily visible that are often more concerning. She took KPIX 5 by water up to a wet weather overflow plant in Albany, where they're now warning people to stay out of the water for a few days.

"Over the weekend, there was so much water that they actually ended up having to discharge only partially treated water, so there was a lot of bacteria that got into the water," she said. "So, we have been warning people to stay out of the water, which is just a good thing to do after it rains. You should definitely wait at least 48 hours if not longer, just to make sure you're not being exposed to something dangerous."


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