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County of Sonoma California

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Storm Water Pollution Prevention

Quality of Water...Quality of Life

Those of us who live in Sonoma County are fortunate to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and attractive natural environment. A storm water management program has been established to protect our waterways and enhance our quality of life.

A sewer system and a storm drain system are not the same.

Water that goes down a sink or other inside drain flows to either a waste water treatment plant or to a septic system for treatment. Storm drain flows are not treated. Water that flows down driveways, streets, and outside areas goes into a storm drain and flows directly to the nearest creek, fish and wildlife habitats, downstream recreational areas, and drinking water supplies.

There are many types of pollutants that find their way into storm drains.

Some common pollutants found in storm drains and creeks include:

  • Motor oil
  • Yard clippings
  • Fertilizers and pesticides
  • Milky water from paint
  • Soapy car wash water
  • Eroded sediment from construction projects
  • Litter

What is being done?

The Santa Rosa Area Storm Water Management Program is run jointly by the City of Santa Rosa, the Sonoma County Water Agency, and the County of Sonoma for the storm water discharge permit issued by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board on March 27, 1997.

The permit boundary encompasses the area that drains through Santa Rosa, and is generally bound by Santa Rosa Creek's watershed limits to the east, and the City of Santa Rosa's ultimate boundary to the west.

The permit and program are aimed at reducing urban runoff pollution and protecting local creek and the Russian River from water quality impairment. Activities for the five-year storm water management program include:

  • Public outreach and education
  • Construction site management
  • Industrial facility inspections
  • Drainage facility maintenance
  • Investigations of illicit discharges and ordinance enforcement

Storm Water Management Program Resource Guide

To report spills and dumping in storm drains and creeks:

  • Immediate hazard: call 911
  • Non-emergency discharges within the City of Santa Rosa: call Santa Rosa Public Works (707) 543-3800
  • Non-emergency discharges outside the Santa Rosa city limits: call Sonoma County Environmental Health (707) 565-6565
  • Spills in flood control channels, call Sonoma County Water Agency (707) 523-1070

To report clogged storm drains:

  • Within Santa Rosa city limits, call (707) 543-3800
  • Outside Santa Rosa city limits, call (707) 524-7280

Volunteer Creek Cleanup: call the Sonoma County Water Agency (707) 547-1908

Volunteer Storm Drain Stenciling:

  • Within the City of Santa Rosa: call (707) 543-3800
  • Outside Santa Rosa city limits: call (707) 547-1908

Oil Recycling: call ECO-DESK (707) 565-3375

Where our rainwater goes

The following map shows that rainwater in the Santa Rosa area drains through the Laguna de Santa Rosa to the Russian River and out to the ocean. The Laguna de Santa Rosa is the second largest freshwater wetland complex in northwestern California.

map of Laguna de Santa Rosa

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