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Stormwater Program - What is Stormwater

Storm Water Pollution...and the solutions

  • Do you know what responsibilities the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB) have regarding storm drain water?

    • The SWRCB is responsible for protecting the quality of water in California and allocating water rights.  The RWQCB staff monitors and enforces laws that protect the quality of water in California.

  • Did you know...

    • ...A sewer system and a storm drain system are not the same?
      These two systems are completely different.  The water that goes down a sink or toilet in you home or business flows to a wastewater treatment plant where it is treated and filtered. Water that flows down driveways and streets and into a gutter goes into a storm drain which flows directly to a lake, river or the ocean.  This water may pick up pollutants along the way which are never treated.

    • ...there are many types of pollutants which enter storm drains?
      Some common contaminants include motor oil, pesticides, brake dust, pet wastes, paint, and household chemicals.

    • ...the effects of the storm drain pollutants on our water can be harmful?
      These pollutants can have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreational use, and wildlife. Some very popular beaches have even been closed because of contaminated storm water.

    • ...there are ways you can prevent storm water pollution?
      By reading this pamphlet and educating yourself on what causes storm water pollution you are on the right path to preventing it. Share this knowledge with others:

      • Don't dump waste in storm drains.
      • Keep yard clippings out of the street.
      • Dispose of household chemicals properly (follow the directions on the package or call
        your local public works department for proper disposal guidelines).
      • Clean up oil spills and fix leaking automobiles.
      • Sweep driveways clean - do not hose them down.

  • What else is being done to control storm water pollution?
    The federal Clean Water Act requires various industrial facilities, construction sites, and urban areas with more than 100,000 people to control the amount of pollutants entering their storm drain systems.

  • Industrial facilities and construction sites are regulated by the SWRCB through general storm water permits. Cities and Counties are regulated through permits issued by the RWQCB.

  • What if I have more questions about storm water drainage?