What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is the water that flows through gutters and into storm drains when it rains. During dry weather, water also flows into gutters and storm drains as a result of pavement washing, runoff from excess lawn irrigation, residential car washing, and other activities. Unlike the wastewater that flows through the sanitary sewer system to the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District treatment facility, water that flows through the storm drain system is not treated. It is released directly to our local waterways.
Rain water and dry-weather runoff pick up many kinds of pollutants as the water flows across pavement and landscaped areas and carries them into the stormwater system. Trash, yard clipping debris, and other solid waste materials left in streets and gutters are also carried into the storm drains. Because of these factors, urban runoff (also called nonpoint source pollution) remains the nation's largest source of water quality problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Our local waterways contribute to – and can impact – our entire watershed. Our watershed stretches from the snowy Sierra Nevada mountaintops, down the foothills and through the valley, into the Delta and the San Francisco Bay, and eventually the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, pollution and trash can impact numerous species of wildlife, plants, fish, and our drinking water quality. Small changes can make a huge difference in protecting our watershed.
In addition, stormwater is a valuable resource here where we live and work. Before our landscape was developed, rain water would land on trees and vegetation, where it would be absorbed by plants and soils as well as refilling our local creeks and rivers. Through this, our groundwater was recharged and the water was cleaned by percolating through layers of soil and rock. Today, that same rainwater hits impermeable surfaces such as roofs, concrete walkways, and asphalt roads, where it is guided to our storm drain system. This rain water moves faster, causing erosion and flooding, and picks up all kinds of trash and pollutants along the way. Stormwater management is not just about preventing pollution, but also about changing the way we build our community to reconnect this valuable resource to our local landscapes.
- Commercial and Business
- Construction and Development Requirements
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- Industrial General Permit (IGP)
To report illegal dumping or illicit connection to the City's stormwater system, please call non-emergency dispatch at (916) 372-3375. Thank you for helping protect our waterways!
Please take our Stormwater Pollution Prevention Survey
The survey will help improve our outreach and education program, and you will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift card to local retailers! Thank you for protecting our water ways.
Click on the link below to begin.