Stormwater Pollution

Stormwater Diagram

Only Rain Down the Storm Drain!

Any precipitation that falls from the sky, including rain, hail, and snow is considered stormwater. Everywhere in the West Valley, storm drains collect stormwater from impervious surfaces such as streets, driveways, and sidewalks. The storm drains carry the water to local creeks and onto the San Francisco Bay without any water treatment. The storm drains on your street may be labeled “No Dumping Flows to Bay.” 

Stormwater pollution occurs when pollutants, debris, and chemicals accumulate on streets, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces and are carried by stormwater into the storm drains. Everyone can help prevent pollutants from entering local storm drains and flowing into our creeks. Stormwater pollutants like these come from our everyday activities: 

  • Motor oil and auto fluids which leak from our vehicles
  • Antifreeze, oil, paint, or household cleaners dumped or rinsed into the gutter
  • Soap and dirt from washing cars in the driveway or street
  • Litter and grime that collect on streets, parking lots, and sidewalks
  • Weed killers, fertilizers, and pesticides that are washed off lawns
  • Pet waste left on lawns, streets, in the gutter, or on sidewalks
  • Dirt, leaves, and lawn clippings that clog storm drains and choke creeks with too much organic material, depriving them of vital oxygen
  • Soil from construction or landscaping that erodes or blows into the street, often containing pesticides or other pollutants
  • Pollutants in the air carried by rain through storm drains into our creeks

Preventing stormwater pollution will help to protect our local ecosystem and the plant and animal life that it supports for future generations.

Storm Drains in My Neighborhood

The Oakland Museum of California has developed a Creek and Watershed Information Source website containing a series of maps and guidebooks to creeks and watersheds in the San Francisco Bay area. All maps provide detailed watershed features including the location of municipal storm drains that are 24 inches or more in diameter. View here for Information regarding these mapsMaps are available for the creeks and watersheds in the West Valley communities.

Creek & Watershed Map of West Santa Clara Valley
Creek & Watershed Map of Central San Jose & Vicinity
Creek & Watershed Map of South San Jose

Photo Gallery

View pictures about stormwater pollution in the photo gallery.