Residential Storm Water Protection


  • Throw litter in designated trash bins only.
  • Make sure trash containers are properly covered.
  • Ensure trash stored in truck beds is secure and cannot blow away.
  • If you see litter, pick it up.

Lawn and Garden Care

  • Reduce the use of lawn and garden care products such as pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, herbicides and other chemicals.
  • As an alternative, use environmentally friendly replacements that are known as Integrated Pest Management.
  • Avoid over-watering and irrigation runoff, which washes these chemicals from lawns and gardens into the storm drain system.
  • To save water, consider planting native and drought tolerant plants.
  • Do not apply pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals within 48 hours of an anticipated rainstorm.
  • Only use chemicals as much as is directed on the label, till it to the soil, and keep it off driveways and sidewalks.
  • Sweep up yard waste and debris and dump it into a trash can.
  • Do not use a hose to wash off sidewalks, parking areas, and garages.

Vehicle Care and Maintenance

  • Consider washing your car at a commercial car wash, where wash water is recycled and then directed to the sanitary sewer for treatment.
  • When washing a car at home, limit the amount of soap/detergent used and, if possible, conduct the washing on a pervious surface where the water can soak in.
  • Use a hose with a shut off nozzle to limit the amount of water used.
  • Use rags, drip pans, or cardboard when repairing vehicles or under leaking vehicles.
  • Fix any leaks from your vehicle and keep up the maintenance on your car.
  • Use absorbent material such as cat litter on oil spills, then sweep it up and dispose of it in the trash.
  • Recycle used motor oil at a local Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center


  • Take a bag with you when walking pets and clean up after them.
  • Flush pet waste down the toilet or dispose of it in a sealed plastic bag and throw it in the trash.
  • Keep a pet on a leash for their safety.

 Good Housekeeping

  • Use non-toxic products for household cleaning.
  • Use a broom, wire brush, or other dry methods to clean outdoor surface areas.
  • Never hose or wash anything to the street or storm drain.
  • Dump wash water to a vegetated/landscaped area or to an indoor drain.
  • Pools, Spas and Fountain Maintenance
  • Only water that has had residual chlorine, algaecide, filter backwash, or other pollutants removed can be drained to the street and storm drain system.
  • The discharge of saline swimming pools/spas must be directed to the sanitary sewer, landscaped areas, or other pervious surfaces that can accommodate the volume of water.
  • Prior to any discharge, the path to the storm drain system should be cleared and flow rates should be non-erosive.
  • Contact the Public Works Department (858-755-3294) prior to discharging pool or spa water to review the most appropriate method based on the location and conditions.