San Bruno Green Street Creek


The landscaped area at Third Avenue near Belle Air Elementary School in San Bruno is actually a system designed for treating rainwater. Water from the street and surrounding parking lot enters the system on the right. As the water hits the pea gravel it slows down so as not to erode the soil. Water then passes through the plants and soil, absorbing some of the water and filtering out some of the polluting material picked up from the pavement. The water exiting on the left is cleaner than when it came in - some of it has even soaked into the ground.


Construction crews first had to remove the existing asphalt and concrete to expose the soil beneath.

After demolition and excavation, workers lay the framing for new concrete curbs to seperate the street creek from the road.

The street creek uses a special soil mixture to help runoff soak into the ground, and plants that tolerate wet and dry conditions.

The water in the street creek will rise to about three or four inches before spilling out the other side. After the rains subside, this water will soak into the ground, get absorbed by plant roots, and evaporate. Within a few days no standing water will remain.

This is a natural system. The plants in the street creek were chosen for their ability to withstand long periods without any water and survive the short periods of flood during rain events.


The City will evaluate the effectiveness of this pilot project to determine if similar street creeks should be placed in other neighborhoods.


Project Location South of Angus Ave (nearest cross street) near Belle Air Elementary School