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Pollution Prevention

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All outside drains are part of the storm drain system which carries flows directly to the nearest creek. These creeks are more than flood control channels and can include fish and wildlife habitats, recreational areas, and drinking water supplies. Flows to the storm drain system (street gutters, inlets, pipes, and creeks) are not treated to remove pollutants as the sanitary sewer system does with wastewater from our homes and work facilities. Storm drain flows are runoff from rain, irrigation, and other sources. Any material that has been deposited on the ground or street is picked up and carried to the storm drain system. This material is what pollutes the runoff and our waterways. 

Pollution sources are many and varied:

  • sediment from grading operations
  • concrete by-products from construction projects
  • sanitary waste and pathogens from temporary restrooms and pet waste
  • debris from discarded building material
  • soil and grease from cars and equipment
  • paint, chemicals, and solvents
  • fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides
  • yard clippings
  • soapy water from car washing
  • dirty wash water
  • used cigarettes and other litter

To help protect and enhance the water quality of our watercourses, Sonoma County developed a Stormwater Ordinance which prohibits the release of polluted stormwater to the County's storm drain system.

Pollution Prevention at Home

Hiring a Gardener
Recycle Autumn Leaves
Vehicle Cleaning
Carpet Cleaning
Home & Garden Tips
Carwash Fundraisers

Pollution Prevention at Work

Cleaning Industry
Food Facilities
Apartments and Other Multi-Unit Residential Dwellings (Manager's Checklist)