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Tips & Resources

Many people think that when water flows into a storm drain it is treated, but the storm drain system and the sanitary sewer system are not connected. Everything that enters storm drains flows UNTREATED directly into our creeks, rivers, bays, beaches and, ultimately, the ocean. That stormwater often contains contaminants – including chemicals, trash and vehicle fluids – all of which pollute our beaches and harm fish and wildlife.

There are several actions that San Diegans and local businesses can take to prevent stormwater pollution and help reduce the pollution going into storm drains and ensure clean water and clean beaches for all of San Diego.

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Stormwater Fact Sheets

The Importance of Stormwater Management

Stormwater infrastructure is important but often underappreciated because much of the equipment and facilities are located underground. Learn more about how that infrastructure is managed with the goal of reducing neighborhood flooding and pollution.


Best Management Practices to Reduce Pollution

Contain, Control, Capture

Follow the three C’s – contain, control and capture – to be proactive in stopping pollution. Utilize these best practices when you perform the following activities because it is much easier to prevent pollution than to clean it up once it has occurred.


Rebate Opportunities

Making Water-Saving Options More Affordable

There are several rebates available that incentivize San Diegans to take their own actions to stop water waste and reuse stormwater. Check out the offers below from the City of San Diego and the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California.

Downspout Redirects: Devices that redirect rainwater to a landscaped area that naturally filters runoff. Up to a $40 rebate per redirect. Español

Free Mulch: This reliable, cost-effective product can help with erosion control and water retention. Available for free at the Miramar Greenery.

Rain Barrels & Cisterns: Used to capture rainwater from hard surfaces, such as rooftops, to conserve water for irrigation. Rebates of up to $800 per property.

Rain Gutters: Captures rainwater from rooftops and diverts it to a rain barrel or landscaped area that naturally filters runoff. Rebates of up to $500 per property. Español

SoCal Water$mart: The MWD offers a variety of rebates for Southern California residents, including for turf replacement, weather-based irrigation control systems and more.

These are the same rebate offers available through the Public Utilities Department’s WasteNoWater.org webpage.