Clean Water Program

The City of Del Mar’s Clean Water Program serves to protect and enhance the quality of our most visible and valuable natural resources – our lagoons, beaches, and the Pacific Ocean – and comply with state and regional environmental regulations. The Clean Water Program works closely with the community, including commercial businesses, developers, municipal staff, and residents, to provide education on potential pollution impacts and prevention practices.

Over time, pollutants (such as trash, oil and grease, animal and human feces, and pesticides and fertilizers) collect on sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and yards. When it rains, these pollutants wash down to the storm drains and into the nearest body of water. Because these storm drains are not connected to the sewer system, water is not filtered or treated and ultimately ends up in our nearby lagoons and the ocean.

The City of Del Mar is located within two watersheds: the San Dieguito Watershed to the north and the Los Peñasquitos Watershed to the south. A watershed is the area of land where all water drains to a specific waterbody. Runoff from the City flows through the watersheds to a specific waterbody - in this case, the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, San Dieguito Lagoon and directly to the Pacific Ocean. As a coastal community, Del Mar’s proximity to the ocean increases the importance of pollution prevention in all City runoff.
In order to curtail pollution impacts and comply with state and regional environmental regulations, the Clean Water Program implements program activities such as:

  • Water quality monitoring
  • Commercial, municipal, and residential facility inspections
  • Clean water ordinance enforcement
  • Watershed management
  • Training
  • Community outreach and education

How you can help

If you observe any of the following occurring, please immediately notify the Clean Water Program at 858-704-3652, through email at, or submit an Urban Runoff Report Form online:
  • Building materials or sediment coming off the property of construction sites;
  • Power washing or mobile detailing operations whose run-off is flowing into the sidewalk, curb and gutter, or a storm drain;
  • Over irrigation where water is running-off into the streets or storm drain system; 
  • Landscape crews using hoses to wash down driveways or gutters into the street; or 
  • Restaurants washing their mats or equipment outdoors and allowing the runoff to flow into the streets or alleyways.