Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries

It is illegal to allow anything other than rainwater to be discharged to a storm drain.

Wineries, Production Breweries, and Distilleries generate waste products, such as lees, spent grains, and rinse water which can have an extremely high or low pH. If spilled or disposed of improperly, these materials 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.

Best Practices:

Wastewater Requirements

  • Check your local jurisdiction for discharge requirements.
  • All winery, brewery, and distillery facilities in Cotati, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, and Sebastopol that discharge to the sewer are required to apply for a Wastewater Discharge Permit with the City of Santa Rosa Environmental Compliance Section. For a Wastewater Discharge Application go to
  • Install a meter at production areas to track production water usage.
  • Install a City approved sampling location and solids separator or screening device for all production discharges before they are released to the sanitary sewer.
  • It is against sewer code to discharge to the sewer at a pH lower than 5.

Cleaning Equipment

  • No outside washing.  The cleaning of any equipment, containers, or tanks is prohibited in areas where runoff is to storm drains or waterways. This includes all outside areas as all outdoor drains go to the storm drain system, unless your business has an approved covered wash area.
  • Wash all equipment indoors utilizing floor drains equipped with a filter box, solids separator, or other City approved screening device.
  • The “solids separator” or screening device needs to be routinely maintained and cleaned to prevent back-ups.

Outside Storage 

  • Diligent maintenance of the outside storage container is required.
  • Containers must be inspected for leaks or spills on a continuous basis, and all plugs must always be in place.
  • All storage containers must be sufficiently covered if located outdoors.
  • All debris around the container must be swept up and disposed of into the garbage.
  • If a spill occurs around the container, it must be swept up or mopped and disposed of into the sanitary sewer or garbage as appropriate.
  • Never hose off the area around the container, as debris or other contaminants will end up in a storm drain.

Mobile Bottling Trucks

  • It is essential to ensure that any product and/or broken bottles are cleaned up and do not reach the storm drain.
  • If the bottling truck is not self-contained, a berm must be placed around the truck to contain any product that may be spilled.
  • Any generated wastewater needs to be discharged to inside trench drains.

Keep Your Property Clean

  • Check and clean property regularly.
  • Sweep up all debris, including any debris from the parking lot, and never wash it down the storm drain.
  • Clean up wet or oily spots with rags and absorbent.
  • Pour any mop wash water into an inside drain only.
  • Never let power washing or steam cleaning water go to the storm drain. It must be collected and disposed of into a sewer drain.
  • Sweep the trash areas daily. Never use a hose in your dumpster or on the pavement.
  • Replace damaged dumpsters by calling your garbage company.
  • Keep dumpster lids closed to keep rain out and debris in.
  • Store materials inside or under a cover so rain and wind don’t carry them to the storm drain.
  • Label storm drain inlets with “No Dumping, Drains to Creek” decals. Contact Storm Water and Creeks at (707) 543-4200 for more information.

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.

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.

Have you seen this in your neighborhood?