Skip to Content
Sonoma County Home | County Departments | Contact Us  

Storm Water - Pollution Prevention

Storm Water Pollution

All outside drains are part of the storm drain system which carry flows directly to the nearest creek. These creeks are more than flood control channels and can include fish and wildlife habitat, recreational areas and drinking water supplies. Flows to the storm drain system (street gutters, inlets, pipes, and creeks) are not treated to remove pollutants like the sanitary sewer system does with waste water 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 Storm Water Ordinance which prohibits the release of polluted storm water 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)


Water Quality Programs

The following programs provide opportunities for the public to get involved in protecting and enhancing our local waterways.

Creek Stewardship
Environmental Discovery Center at Spring Lake
Sonoma County Fish and Wildlife Commission
Sonoma Ecology Center
Southern Sonoma County Resource Conservation District
SCWA Water Education Program (Good for Teachers & Students)


Additional Resources

Pest Management
Disposal and Recycling
Mosquito Problems


Although every effort is made to provide complete and accurate information on this website, users are advised to contact appropriate Permit Sonoma staff before making project decisions. This may involve contacting more than one section within Permit Sonoma(e.g. Building, Plan Check, Zoning, Well & Septic, etc.) since each section implements specific codes or ordinances which may affect your project.
Sonoma County Home | County Departments | Contact Us | Accessibility Assistance | This page was last updated .
Permit and Resource Management Department County of Sonoma