nodumpingstormwaterlogo.gifThursday April 9, 2009

Keeping our local waterways healthy starts with realizing that any substance on our streets flows directly to our waterways without treatment. Wastewater that goes down the drain inside your house goes to the sanitary wastewater treatment plant, but things that go into the storm drains do not get treatment. That means if you fertilize your lawn and then over-water, allowing some of this water to get in the street, fertilizer enriched runoff enters the street’s storm drain and flow into the nearest creek or river. 

Another thing everyone can do is to report activities of others that cause polluted water to flow to our storm drains – also known as Illicit Discharges.  For instance, antifreeze or motor oil drained on the street during car maintenance, or even dumping excess yard or pet waste into the storm drain are Illicit Discharges.  All these materials are harmful to the fish and wildlife that live in our waterways, and could even kill them.

In fact, it is illegal to release anything other than stormwater which is free of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable to a stormwater conveyance system. Many people don’t realize this and don't understand that the stormwater conveyance systems include streets, curbs and gutter, storm drains, and ditches. So even sharing this information with your neighbors and friends helps.

If you see an Illicit Discharge, or even a potential pollutant release, you may report it to the Stormwater Hotline 707-257-9600 or in an emergency call 911. Please provide a detailed account of the incident including date, time, location, responsible party, and the nature of the incident when you call to assist City staff in responding to the incident.

For more information about stormwater pollution prevention go to or call Sam Jones at City of Napa Public Works at 707-257-9298

Remember: “Only Rain Down the Storm Drain”