• Federal, state, local regulation; regional codes; and local ordinances prohibit any discharge, other than storm water, into the storm drain system.
  • The property owner is responsible to know and follow all state, regional, and local requirements and guidelines, including obtaining proper permits, for all work to be completed. Work must comply with all applicable conditions, regulations, and requirements.

Be Rain Ready

  • Check the weather prior to performing any outdoor activity. Avoid work in the rain.
  • Be prepared to cover exposed surfaces prior to any potential rain event. Have a plan and supplies on-site.
  • Routine, periodic and storm event triggered inspections are needed to:
    • Identify non-storm water discharges
    • Determine BMP effectiveness
    • Identify necessary repairs or BMP changes.
  • Keep gutters clear for flow. Large scale construction projects must have a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

Spills (Including Mud, Dirt, Silt)

  • Create a plan for addressing hazardous and non-hazardous spills. Make sure people on your site know how to respond.
  • Keep spill clean-up materials on-site (absorbents, rags, etc.).
  • Report spills immediately.
  • Never hose down “dirty” pavement or surfaces. Clean up all spills and leaks using “dry” methods (with spill absorbents or comparable materials such as sawdust, cat litter, and/or rags). Sweep areas daily.

Report a Spill:

  • (707) 543-3800 Business Hours
  • (707) 543-3805 After Hours
  • (707) 528-5151 HAZMAT
  • (707) 576-1365 24 Hour (Outside the City)

Best Management Practices to Prevent Pollution  

Santa Rosa has two separate drainage systems—the sanitary sewer system and the storm drain system. The storm drain system was designed to prevent flooding by carrying excess rain water away from city streets out to local creeks, the Russian River, and Pacific Ocean. This rain water flows untreated into our local waterways, which is why property owners and contractors are required to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to prevent storm water pollution.

BMPs are used to keep pollution away from sidewalks, streets, and gutters because they connect to the storm drain and our creeks. Implementing and maintaining BMPs are critical to protecting our local creeks and wildlife. Construction site pollution control is more than managing sediment. Proper design, installation, and periodic inspection and maintenance are essential.

BMP Maintenance

  • All maintenance should be completed as soon as possible AND before any predicted storm event. At a minimum, perform routine weekly inspections of all BMPs and daily inspections during rain events.
  • Perform the following BMP maintenance tasks regularly:
    • Remove collected sediment;
    • Replace or repair worn or damaged silt fence, fabric or fiber rolls, gravel/sand bags, soil stabilization measutes, and structural controls; and
    • Other control maintenance as defined in each BMP fact sheet. See CASQA or Caltrans BMP handbooks.
  • Make BMP implementation a condition of all prime and subcontract agreements. By doing so, the chance of an inadvertent violation can be prevented, potentially saving thousands of dollars in fines and project delays.
  • Required BMPs and pollution prevention measures when performing any construction related activity:
  1. Conduct daily site cleaning.
  2. Prepare for spill response and containment.
  3. Educate workers about  BMPs.
  4. Implement erosion control measures for rain and wind.
  5. Maintain all  BMPs.


  • Cover and maintain dumpsters. Check frequently for leaks. Never hose down a dumpster on site.
  • Never wash off tools or equipment where it has potential to discharge to a storm drain.
  • Cover areas where potential pollutants (grease, paints, and chemicals) are stored. Keep these materials covered and labeled in appropriate containers to prevent any contact with storm water.
  • Maintain a clean site and keep water, runoff, and run-on away from potential pollutants, including bare soil.


  • Adhere to all City Power Washing requirements:
  • NEVER clean or rinse paint equipment into a street, gutter or storm drain.
  • AFTER thoroughly dry; dispose of used brushes, empty paint cans (lids off), rags and drop cloths in the trash.
  • NOTE: Buildings painted prior to 1972 will need to be tested for lead.


  • Use drain rock for approaches to reduce soil compaction and limit tracking of sediment onto streets.
  • Provide wheel wash areas, if needed, and sweep up all loose materials from trucks, trailers, and transported equipment.
  • Frequently clean streets and sidewalks to prevent unauthorized discharges to surface waters and storm drains.

Erosion Control

  • Schedule excavation and grading work for dry weather only.
  • Avoid over-application of water for dust control.
  • Control Site Perimeter: Delineate site perimeter to control any sediment discharges from the site and divert upstream run-on around the property.
  • Limit land disturbance. Protect areas where work is not actively occurring.


  • Cover and berm stockpiled materials (mulch, topsoil, etc.). Secure cover with sandbags.
  • Avoid placing stockpiles in street, sidewalk, or gutter. If necessary, a permit may be required.
  • Utilize non-floatable mulch when possible.
  • Refrain from applying landscape material 2 days prior to a forecasted rain event or during any rain event.


  • Secure bags of cement. Prevent exposure of cement powder from wind, rainfall and runoff, especially near streets, gutters, and storm drains.
  • Set-up Washout Area.
  • Only clean out concrete mixers and equipment in approved designated washout areas. NEVER into driveways, streets, gutters, storm drains or drainage ditches.
  • Set up and operate small mixers on tarps or heavy drop cloths.

10 Storm Water Protections for Construction 

  1. Materials Storage
    • All building materials must be contained and covered.
    • Materials must be stored on-site at all times unless an encroachment permit has been obtained.
  2. Perimeter Controls
    • Utilize perimeter controls, such as, gravel bags, silt fences, or straw wattles, to surround the site to control run-on and run-off.
    • Avoid running over perimeter controls with vehicles or heavy equipment.
    • Check and maintain site daily.
  3. Dumpsters
    • Always securely cover dumpsters.
    • Areas around dumpsters should be swept daily.
    • Dumpsters must be stored on-site at all times unless an encroachment permit has been obtained.
  4. Port-A-Potty
    • Secondary containment trays are REQUIRED for all Port-a-Potties.
    • NEVER stage in street, gutter pan or over/near storm drains.
    • Service regularly.
  5. Concrete Trucks/Pumpers
    • Pumpers must be surrounded by perimeter controls.
    • Plastic sheets must be placed beneath concrete pumpers at all times, and residual materials must be cleaned up.
    • Washout areas must be used whenever cleaning occurs.
  6. Tracking Controls
    • All entrances and exits on the site must have coarse gravel or steel shaker plates to limit offsite sediment/material tracking.
  7. Washout Area
    • The disposal of “wet” construction materials should be handled in the washout area. This includes paint, stucco and concrete.
    • Use a berm and/or plastic sheet to collect and contain liquids and prevent run-off in nearby areas.
  8. Dirt and Grading
    • Mounds of dirt or gravel should be stored on  site.
    • Materials should be covered with a secured tarp each day and prior to rain.
    • Fabric, tarps, and/or visqueen must be available and on-site to cover all exposed soil areas.
  9. Earthmoving Equipment
    • All staged earthmoving equipment should be stored on-site.
    • Tracks and trails left by equipment leading to and from the site should be cleaned up immediately.
    • Maintain spill kits. Ensure vehicle and equip-ment leaks are cleaned immediately.
  10. Storm Drains
    • It is illegal to wash out equipment, such as paint brushes, in the street or dump any materials into the storm drain or gutter.
    • Gutter pan must be kept clean and clear at all times.