The Almaden Valley Watershed
December, 2005

Bob Boydston, AVCA Past President

Few people realize the vital role that creeks serve in the Almaden Valley.  Most of us seldom see them or think of them.

In the United States, flooding is the most frequent type of disaster.  Due to the good slope of our valley, water flows well via the creeks towards the Bay.  Flood protection is under the administration of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, which is also responsible for our drinking water.  One of the three water treatment plants is located in the Almaden Valley on the the site of the old Graystone Quarry.

Extensive development of what was once open land has reduced the water absorbing areas and the original floodplain, putting more pressure on the remaining watershed to carry off the water.

In order to maintain good flow, scheduled inspection visits are planned for each creek, but actually the water district is dependent on the general public to report any flow impediment due to debris, etc.  Many creeks flow behind fenced residential areas and are difficult to gain access.  There is an adopt-a-creek program available to homeowner and other civic minded groups.  Those interested can contact the SCVWD at their Santa Clara Valley Water District - water supply, water quality, water conservation, flood management  Web page.

There are six important creeks in Almaden Valley:

The Alamitos Creek, flowing from the Almaden Reservoir to the Guadalupe Creek junction, is the major creek with four tributary creeks flowing into it:

The Santa Teresa Creek, which is joined by the Arroyo Calero Creek flowing from the Calero Reservoir, flows into the Alamitos Creek.

The three following creeks flow into the Alamitos Creek from Quicksilver Park after the Santa Teresa Junction:
    Randol Creek.
    Greystone Creek.
    Golf Creek.

Looking at the Greystone Creek as a typical creek flowing into the Alamitos Creek, the source picture below was taken from the top end of Echo Ridge Drive looking at Quicksilver Park.  The creek then meanders between Hampton and Elwood Roads, continuing just west of Elwood, passing under the Almaden Expressway, and then passing under Camden Avenue near Hidden Creek Drive just southeast of Redmond Avenue.

The source of the Greystone Creek in Quicksilver Park
As it passes under Camden Avenue
Greystone Creek flowing into Alamitos Creek
The Alamitos creek joins the Guadalupe Creek just north of the Coleman Road and Almaden Expressway intersection
to form the Guadalupe River, which flows into the Bay.
The Alamitos Creek as it passes under Camden Ave.
The junction of the Alamitos Creek and the Santa Teresa Creek.
The Santa Teresa Creek is the smaller creek and
is seen flowing in front of the large tree at the right.

We All Live In A Watershed - Let's Protect It!

West Valley Watersheds of Santa Clara County