Clean Water Program

Fred and Izzy need your help to identify activities that pollute our creeks, wetlands and the Bay. Can you spot the things people are doing to prevent pollution? Play to find out!

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Safely dispose of your household hazardous waste and keep your home toxic free!

Leftover household hazardous waste should never be thrown in the trash or recycling bin, flushed down the toilet, or dumped down the drain or storm sewer. Alameda County offers multiple free, convenient options for properly and safely disposing of these materials. Visit Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste’s website  to learn more.

How does pollution enter our waterways?

Runoff from our rooftops, parking lots, streets and parks all discharge into the City’s storm drains. These storm drains are connected to our local waterways. That means pollutants such as litter, fertilizers, sediment, animal waste and oil and grease can be picked up by runoff and washed into our creeks and eventually the San Francisco Bay. That’s not only harmful to those critters that depend on our waterways, it also has the potential to impact public health and diminish local recreational opportunities.

What is the City doing?

The State of California has issued a  Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit  to municipalities and flood control districts in the Bay Area to regulate stormwater discharges. The City implements best management practices (BMPs) to control and reduce pollutant discharges into our storm drains during municipal operations such as road repairs and sidewalk maintenance.

In addition, the City does the following:

  • Inspects industrial and commercial sites likely to contribute to pollution of stormwater runoff. 
  • Regulates new developments/redevelopments for effective stormwater controls. 
  • Requires the implementation of sediment and other pollutant controls for construction projects. 
  • Responds to illicit discharges. 
  • Minimize trash getting to our waterways through active  street sweeping, storm drain maintenance and the deployment of trash capture devices. 
  • Green Infrastructure Projects  within the City of Pleasanton. 

What can you do to take care of our waterways?

  • Wash your car at a commercial car wash.
  • Keep your outdoor trash/waste containers closed.
  • Clean up spills immediately with dry methods. Never hose spills down the storm drain!
  • Contact Engineering to check for and comply with the City’s stormwater requirements if you have a project that will create or replace 2,500 ft. or more of impervious surface.
  • Regularly maintain stormwater treatment measures on your property. (If you have a maintenance agreement with the City, download the annual report form and inspection checklistshere.)
  • Pick up your pet’s waste.
  • Report illicit discharges to the City at (925) 931-5500 or contact us.
  • Volunteer  at local creek cleanup events!
  • Eliminate water runoff from irrigation by shortening watering time and adding multiple watering cycles. Visit Water Conservation  for more tips on how to prevent water runoff!

How do I report dumping into the storm drain system?

  • Call the Public Works Department at (925) 931-5500 between the hours of Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Report in the Mainstar portal between the hours of Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • After hours, please call Pleasanton Police Dispatch at (925) 931-5100.

Storm Drain Systems

What is the difference between a storm drain and a sanitary sewer?

The water that goes down a sink or toilet in your home or business flows to a wastewater treatment plant where it is treated and filtered as part of a sanitary sewer.

Water that flows down driveways and streets and into a gutter goes into a storm drain, which flows directly to a lake, river or the ocean is a storm drain. This water may pick up pollutants along the way, which are never treated. It is important to not put anything other than water down the storm drain.

What can I do to help reduce Nonpoint pollution?

  • Urban Stormwater Runoff
  • Keep litter, pet wastes, leaves and debris out of street gutters and storm drains–these outlets drain directly to streams and wetlands.
  • Apply lawn and garden chemicals sparingly and according to directions.
  • Dispose of used antifreeze, paints and other household chemicals properly, not in storm sewers or drains. Most vehicle fluids can be recycled. Check for your nearest oil recycler.
  • Use a dry clean up method to clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease and antifreeze. Do not hose them into the street where they can eventually reach local streams and the bay.
  • Control soil erosion on your property by planting ground cover and stabilizing erosion-prone areas.
  • Have your septic system inspected and pumped, at a minimum, every 3-5 years so that it operates properly.
  • Purchase household detergents and cleaners that are low in phosphorus to reduce the amount of nutrients discharged into our streams and coastal waters.
  • Limit the amount of impenetrable surfaces in your landscape. Use permeable paving surfaces such as wood decks, bricks and concrete lattice to let water soak into the ground.
  • Allow thick vegetation or buffer strips to grow along waterways to slow runoff and soak up pollutants. Plant trees, shrubs and ground cover. They will absorb up to 14 times more rainwater than a grass lawn and don’t require fertilizer.
  • Use natural alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. If you must use chemicals, test your soil to determine the right amount.
  • Don’t hose down driveways or sidewalks. Dry sweeping paved areas, along with careful trash disposal, are simple, effective pollution reducers.
  • Gutters and downspouts should drain onto vegetated or gravel- filled seepage areas – not directly onto paved surfaces. Splash blocks also help reduce erosion.
  • Divert runoff from pavement to grassy, planted or wooded areas of your property, so stormwater can seep slowly into the ground.
  • Compost grass clippings and leaves. Never allow them to wash into roadways where they will reach storm drains.
  • Get involved in the planning and zoning process in your community. That’s where the decisions are made that shape the course of development and the future quality of our environment.
  • Place litter, including cigarette butts, in trash receptacles. Never throw litter in streets or down storm drains.
  • Properly dispose of household hazardous wastes.
  • Recycle all used motor oil by taking it to a service station or local recycling center.
  • Animal wastes contain bacteria and viruses that contaminate shellfish and cause the closing of bathing areas. Pet owners should pick up after their pets and dispose of the wastes in the garbage or toilet.
  • Wash your car on the grass so soapy water soaks into the ground. Use a hose nozzle to prevent water from running when not in use.

What are the consequences of car washing or charity car washing?

Most soap contains phosphates and other chemicals that harm fish and water quality. The soap, together with the dirt and oil, brake dust washed from cars, flows into nearby storm drains which run directly into lakes, rivers or marine waters. The phosphates from the soap cause excess algae to grow and harm water quality. As algae decay, the process uses up oxygen in the water that fish need.

Pursuant to our National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, fleet or mass car washing, or commercial vehicular waste water may not enter the storm drainage system. Charity car washes fall into this category due to the car volume.

Can I drain my pool to the street?

Did you know that draining pool or spa water into the street is prohibited because of the chlorine and chemical content? Find out how to dechlorinate pool water before discharging.

Disposing of pool, spa and fountain water:
Disposing of pool, spa and fountain water to the sanitary sewer system is the only disposal method allowed.

Disposing of filter rinse water: 
If you have a cartridge type filter these should be cleaned in a sink or on a landscaped area where the water will not run into the street.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) filters: ensure that the DE is captured prior to discharge. The DE should never enter the storm drain system as it is hazardous to the beneficial waterborne insects.

Stream Maintenance for Water Conveyance

Maintenance of stream sections and stormwater detention ponds is necessary to ensure proper water flow through streams, improve water quality and reduce the risk of flooding. The City of Pleasanton conducted an environmental review to assess the potential impacts of implementing the periodic, routine maintenance activities on specific stream segments and stormwater detention ponds within the City of Pleasanton to improve water conveyance and quality. The resulting Negative Declaration is available below for the general public. Questions with regards to Pleasanton’s Stream Maintenance Project can be sent via our contact form.


  • Pleasanton is a part of the Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program. To help assist businesses and residents in Alameda County. ACCWP has a wide variety of resources available to the public. 
  • Stores that provide fact sheets and shelf tags for customers choosing non-toxic products.  
For more information about the City of Pleasanton Clean Water Program, please contact us.

What is the Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program (the ACCWP)?

Working with agencies from around Alameda County, the Clean Water program facilitates local compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act.

Find out more on the ACCWP website.