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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Adopt-A-Creek important?  
There are more than 800 miles of streams in Santa Clara County that need cleaning. The water district works very hard year round to maintain the health of these creeks, but we can not do it alone. We need the help of citizens like you who act as stewards for the cleanliness of our community and environment throughout the year.

How do I know what creeks are available for adoption?  
You can find out which creeks are available for adoption by contacting [email protected], (408) 630-2333, or see our creeks for adoption page.

Can I choose a creek in any area, or does it have to be specific to my community?  
You can choose a creek anywhere in Santa Clara County, as long as it has not been adopted by another group or is not on private property. The areas of creeks that are in most need of adoption are in the Uvas/Llagas and Coyote watersheds near Morgan Hill/Gilroy and East San Jose/Milpitas respectively.

How many people do I need in my group in order to participate?  
You can have as little as one or as many as 100 people in your group. The choice is yours. Your most important consideration should be finding people who will commit to cleaning the creek twice a year and with whom you'll enjoy spending time.

How do I get involved in the Adopt-A-Creek program?  
Anyone can get involved in the program. See our getting started page for more information. You can download an application or request an application to be sent to you by contacting [email protected], (408) 630-2333.

How long am I committed to participating in the program?
Your Adopt-A-Creek permit is valid for two years. You can renew your permit as many times as you wish to continue participating in the program.

How often do I have to clean my creek?
We ask that you designate a minimum of two cleanup days per year for your group, although you can clean your creek as often as you'd like.

What tools do I need?
The water district supplies garbage bags and gloves for your group at no cost for your cleanup day. Please contact the program coordinator before you pick up your supplies at our San Jose warehouse located at 5905 Winfield Boulevard, San Jose.

Will my group be picking up hazardous or dangerous materials?
It is extremely rare for a group to come across toxic or hazardous materials during its cleanup day. If you suspect that a material may be toxic or hazardous, we ask that you do not attempt to remove it. Notify the water district at 1-888-510-5151 or county hazardous material office of suspected toxic substance immediately.

Can children participate?
We encourage children to participate in the program with adult supervision. It is a great way to give them ownership of their community and show them how pollution can negatively impact their environment.

Does cleaning a creek two times a year really make an impact?
YES! A little effort on your part can make a huge impact on the environment. Every piece of debris that you pick up from your adopted creek means one less piece that will end up in the San Francisco or Monterey bays, threatening humans, fish, wildlife and vegetation.