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POLLUTION ENFORCEMENT  ALERT!                                               SearchContact UsCity Home

Stop illicit discharges to the storm drain system

Stormwater Homepage - To return to the Stormwater Management Program Homepage, Click Here!


By now you’ve certainly heard about the Federal and State regulations aimed at preventing pollution in our creeks, bays, ocean and recreational waters. Some of our routine cleaning activities; such as cleaning sidewalks, patios and other surfaces (i.e. impervious surfaces) often contribute to water pollution. After all, what harm is there in letting a little debris and potable water go down into the gutters? Plenty!

Gutters feed into the storm drain system, which was built for flood control purposes and carrying rainwater away from developed areas. Storm water and all water run-off from outside cleaning practices are not treated like the water in the sewage system – it flows directly into our creeks, bays and ultimately the ocean. This is not just an issue for coastal communities and businesses, but an issue for all of us. Studies show that 90% of water pollution (i.e. polluted creeks, bays and ocean water) is attributed to daily urban activities unrelated to the sewer system. The Storm Water Conveyance System begins at the gutter or drainage pipes at your downtown business and ends at our creeks, bays and ocean. So, when cleaning outside surface areas use a broom or a shop vacuum and never let wash water go down the storm

The City of San Luis Obispo is implementing a vigorous educational and enforcement program to combat the problem of water pollution. Of the many documents available on the City’s website is one dealing exactly with “Impervious Surface Cleaning.” If you still have questions about cleaning your sidewalks and other paved surfaces, visit the City’s Clean Water Program web site at or call the Water Pollution Reporting & Information Hotline (805) 783-7876.

Be a part of the solution and help prevent storm water pollution!

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