It is illegal to allow anything other than rain water to be discharged to a storm drain.
Never allow sanding debris, paint, vehicle wash water, or other chemicals used to be transported to a street, gutter, parking lot, or storm drain. If discharged or disposed of improperly, materials such as hydrocarbons, oil and grease, and heavy metals can be harmful to water quality and creek habitats.
Individuals and businesses that improperly handle and dispose of non-stormwater materials down the storm drain are both subject to civil and criminal prosecution.
- Perform all work activities inside. Immediately clean up drips or small spills.
- Use sanding tools equipped with a vacuum to pick up debris and dust.
- Properly contain used solvents for offsite removal by a licensed hauler (i.e. paint gun solvent).
- Use low volume paint mixing equipment and high efficiency painting tools. (Calculate paint needs based on surface area to minimize wasted paint and thinner)
- Wash vehicles and equipment on-site within a City approved drainage area connected to the sewer system. Contain wash water and dispose of properly into the sewer system.
- Use dry cleanup methods (i.e. broom or vacuum). Don’t hose down or pressure wash work areas.
- Inspect damaged vehicles for leaks.
- Protect hazardous materials, recyclables, and discarded parts/materials from rain.
- Separate hazardous wastes and use secondary containment for storage.
- Don’t use acid-based wheel cleaners or solvent based degreasers.
An approved oil/water separator or sump is required if wash water is discharged to the sewer system. A Wastewater Discharge Permit may be required. Check with your local municipality for specific requirements.
Are You Ready to Respond to a Spill?
- Have a written plan.
- Train employees annually on storm water regulations, spill response, personal safety, and hazardous waste handling and disposal.
- Have spill cleanup materials onsite.
- Have Safety Data Sheets for all products used.
How are the Storm Drain and Sanitary Sewer Systems Different?
Throughout urban communities, the storm drain system transports rainwater to local creeks, rivers, and the ocean. This system was created to prevent flooding within communities and homes.
All water and materials that enter the storm drain system is untreated.
The sanitary sewer is a plumbed system that transports used water from buildings to a wastewater collection and treatment facility, where the water and sewage is treated.
If you see an outdoor drain and are unsure of its use, assume it is a storm drain and do not discharge wash water to it.
Report Spills Here
Cloverdale: (707) 894-2150
Cotati: (707) 665-3605
Healdsburg: (707) 431-7000
Rohnert Park: (707) 588-3300
Santa Rosa: (707) 543-3800,
After Hours: (707) 543-3805
Sebastopol: (707) 823-5331,
After Hours: (707) 829-4400
Ukiah: (707) 463-6288
Unincorporated County of Sonoma: (707) 565-1900
Unincorporated Mendocino County: (707) 234-6679
Windsor: (707) 838-1006,
After Hours: (707) 838-1000
Releasing pollutants into the storm drain system or a waterway is prohibited by local ordinance, state, and federal law.