Take steps to reduce stormwater runoff pollution

Published on November 22, 2021


Stormwater is rain water that does not soak into the ground. As stormwater flows over neighborhoods, businesses and streets, it picks up the trash, animal waste, pesticides, motor oils and other contaminants accumulated on hard surfaces and deposits them into our local creeks, rivers and the San Francisco Bay. Stormwater runoff is the largest source of water pollution and the biggest threat to water quality.

So what can you do?

  • Apply a layer of compost in your garden to control erosion and help remove pollutants. Compost also helps retain soil moisture, which can help cutback your water use. 
  • Dispose of your household hazardous waste (HHW) for free at San Mateo County Health’s HHW Program. Because these wastes and materials may be corrosive, toxic or flammable, they cannot be discarded in household garbage.
  • Use non-toxic or less toxic alternatives to pesticides so you can protect your home and garden from annoying pests without harming our environment.
  • Keep stormwater in your yard and prevent run-off by adding a rain barrel or rain garden to your landscaping.
  • Always remember to clean up after your pet’s waste and place it in the trash. Pet waste contains harmful bacteria that will wash into our waterways after a rainfall
  • Report incidents of water pollution such as illegal dumping using our online form or by calling 650-330-6750.