Storm - FAQs

Whom do I call to report a clogged catch basin, flooded streets or illegal dumped materials in the public right-of-way?

In an emergency, where the public health and safety is in danger, please call 9-1-1. In all other situations, call the (408)586-2600.

What is storm water pollution?

Storm water pollution is when water from rainstorms, garden hoses and sprinklers causes runoff that collects harmful debris and flows through local creeks, rivers and lakes – eventually draining, untreated, into the ocean.

What is a watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that collects water whenever it rains or snows. Through gravity, water is channeled into soils, groundwater, creeks, and lakes and drains into larger bodies of water such as rivers. Eventually, the water flows to an ocean. We all live in a watershed, and whatever we do to the land will affect water quality downstream.

Is storm water treated before it flows to the ocean?

No. Storm water flows do not receive any treatment because of the sheer volume of runoff – tens of millions of gallons on even the driest day – from an area encompassing more than 1,000 square miles.

How can I help keep my neighborhood and local waterways pollution free?

Getting involved is a great way to keep your neighborhood and local waterways clean. Here are a few simple ways to help keep pollutants out of local water bodies:

  • Participate in or organize a local neighborhood clean-up.
  • Educate your friends and family about the impact pollutants have on water quality.
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle.
  • Always use canvas bags when shopping.
  • Consider installing a rain barrel on your property to harvest the rain. It’s a great way to save money and conserve one of our most precious natural resources!