Matadero Creek dry-out puzzles residents Around Town, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Aug 16, 2012 at 11:06 am
For years, Matadero Creek in Palo Alto's Barron Park neighborhood flowed year round. But on June 27, the water level dropped by a foot, with sections of the creek suddenly turning bone dry. Residents and experts are speculating about the possible causes.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 16, 2012, 10:23 AM
Posted by qq, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm
This may have to do with the 101 work over Matadero Creek.
The creek east of the bridge is very high due to the tide gate problems described here yesterday. However, at the bridge new pipe is being installed for 101 and a large pump has been installed to drain water into the sewer system.
It can all be seen just north of the MSC on East Bayshore.
Could this also be why the Palo Alto creek monitor has been broken since April 27th?
Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Aug 18, 2012 at 3:31 am Douglas Moran is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
FYI: The section of Matadero Creek discussed in this article is above El Camino, and is far, far above tidal influences.
Some additional factors: The development in this segment and above changed how the groundwater that feeds the creek was recharged. First, hardscapes (streets, driveways, roofs, ...) can divert rain water into storm drains, thereby preventing it from being absorbed. On the other hand, traditional landscape watering practices can add to the groundwater, and but this compensation could be lost as people switched to more "water-wise" practices. And ...
Posted by Jessica, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Aug 27, 2012 at 10:43 am
It's definitely a human controlled issue, not a natural result of global warming, water tables, what have you, as the level behind my house clearly is either "on" or "off." When the water dropped in June, it was very sudden, lasted a few days, then was back to "normal." (Where "normal" is the man-made normal level, not the natural level before human intervention.) There was another drop on August 17. Aug 16 am water levels were normal. I did not check Aug 16 pm. Aug 17 am the creek was empty (though water lines were still visible so the shut off had to have been relatively recent.) Aug 17 pm the water was back "on." This time it wasn't "off" long enough for the egrets to discover that the fish were easy pickings. The June shut-off caused quite a few fish to get stranded in small puddles and more herons and egrets came to visit than usual. But boy did things start smelling ripe after a couple of days. Even though the summer flow is non-natural, the local wildlife (not all native, I'm sure) has come to rely on it.