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A watershed is a land area that drains to a common waterway such as a:
In the Santa Clara Valley, rain flows into creeks, rivers, and storm drains that flow to San Francisco Bay. Some of the water infiltrates the soil or is diverted to reservoirs and percolation ponds to replenish underground aquifers. You live in a watershed that flows to a local creek, and all of the runoff from your home, yard and neighborhood flows to that creek.
When a drop of water falls inside a watershed, it flows toward that main body of water. It can do this in one of two ways: by soaking into the ground, or by running off the landscape directly into the waterbody. If it soaks into the ground, it becomes part of the groundwater supply, which eventually connects with the surface water. When it goes into the ground, the soils filter out harmful pollutants — things like fertilizer, oil, chemicals, bacteria, trash, etc. — so the water stays clean. But if the raindrop can’t soak into the ground, it will run toward the lowest point in the landscape, picking up whatever pollutants it finds along the way. This is called runoff, and it’s a major source of water pollution.
Watersheds are more than just drainage areas in and around our communities. They are necessary to support habitat for plants and animals, and they provide drinking water for people and wildlife. They also provide the opportunity for recreation and enjoyment of nature. Pollution in our watersheds degrades the environment, harms wildlife habitat, impacts the economy and jobs, causes higher taxes and fees, and ultimately can affect the health of humans.
Healthy watersheds provide critical services, such as clean drinking water, productive fisheries, and outdoor recreation, that support our economies, environment and quality of life. Protection of natural resources in our watershed is essential to maintain the health and welfare of all living things, both now and in the future.
Urban runoff from businesses can be a major source of water pollution. Common pollutants from businesses include:
Dumping substances into a storm drain, or allowing substances to flow across pavement that eventually leads to a storm drain, are violations and can result in a fine.
To comply with State and Federal Water Quality Regulations, the cities of Campbell, Saratoga and the Town of Los Gatos requires certain industrial and commercial businesses to apply minimum Best Management practices (BMPs). The Authority maintains an inventory of commercial and industrial business in the West Valley, and performs routine inspections to make sure that appropriate BMPs are applied.
Sustainable business practices save money, time, and protects water quality and the environment. By applying appropriate BMPs, your business can also improve employee health and safety, communicate a positive professional image, and create good relationships with your customers and neighbors.
An illegal storm drain discharge (“spill”) occurs when anything other than rainwater enters the storm drain. Common examples of spills or illegal discharges to storm drains include:
Illegal discharges can occur in public or private storm drain inlets. Yes, you should report a spill observed in either public or private storm drains. Public storm drain inlets are mainly located in public streets at the curb and gutters, in public parking lots, and public alleyways. Private storm drain inlets are located on private property, usually in large parking lots or driveways.
To report a spill for Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, or Saratoga use this online form or call 408-354-5385. For emergencies after hours or hazardous waste spills call 911.
Yes, we will investigate the report within 48 business hours and If you request a follow-up response we will contact you on the outcome of report.