Baykeeper recently received an unusual report to our pollution hotline: a tipster claimed that cleanup crews around Chase Center were washing post-event debris straight into storm drains that lead to San Francisco Bay.
Chase Center has a capacity of nearly 20,000 fans. As these crowds empty onto the sidewalk after concerts and basketball games, they generate significant amounts of litter.
Most San Francisco streets drain to the city’s wastewater treatment system. But in the Mission Bay neighborhood where Chase Center is located, many of the storm drains bypass treatment. That means that litter was being power-washed straight into the Bay—without any filtration.
So we notified the key agencies responsible for keeping the city's pollution out of storm drains. In response, the agencies conducted an on-site investigation and contacted Chase Center facility managers.
Now, cleanup crews have been instructed to avoid washing stadium debris down storm drains. Plus, local agencies are working to make sure there aren't similar issues near other facilities around Mission Bay.
Thanks to our pollution tipster, the Bay will no longer be impacted by trash from basketball fans and concert goers—and we can all cheer for a better protected San Francisco Bay.
Read more about our hotline response.
Pictured: Chase Center from the air, by Robb Most for Baykeeper, thanks to LightHawk Conservation Flying