Residential Water Pollution

Keep It Clean Downstream
Excess irrigation and wash water contributes to pollution at local beaches. This water can carry excessive fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, automobile fluid, paint, trash, animal waste, and other pollutants to the storm drain system that flows untreated into channels, harbors, and the ocean where it can endanger marine life and contaminate beaches.

Causes
  • Common Household Cleaners
  • Detergents From Washing Your Car
  • Fertilizers
  • Improper Disposal Of Paint, Oil, or Other Chemicals
  • Insecticides, and Fungicides
  • Loose Grass Clippings and Leaves
  • Pet Droppings
  • Poorly Maintained Septic Systems
  • Soil From Exposed Areas in the Yard
  • Weed Killer
Effects
  • Soil in runoff carries contaminants that smothers and kills aquatic life.
  • Fertilizers, car exhaust, and detergents cause explosive plant and algae growth, which depletes water of oxygen, killing fish and animals as well as creating a terrible smell.
  • Loose grass clippings and leaves also add to this and clog drainage systems.
  • Pet droppings and septic tank overflows can cause diseases like dysentery, hepatitis, and parasite infections by getting into drinking water and recreation areas.
  • Oil, paint, cleaning supplies, and other toxic materials from cars and batteries contaminate drinking water and kill fish, animals, and plants.
Solutions
  • Adjust sprinklers to minimize water from entering the gutter. When possible, use drip irrigation. This will also reduce water usage.
  • Don’t use the hose to clean walkways, driveways, or gutters. Whenever possible, use a rake or broom to clean the yard, driveway and gutters. Use leaf blowers responsibly and never blow debris into the gutter or storm drain.
  • Always use trash cans to dispose trash.
  • Closely follow manufacture instructions when applying fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide. Do not apply material onto sidewalks, curbs, streets, or other non-porous surfaces.
  • Pick up pet waste and place in the trash. Never wash pet waste out into the street or into the storm drain.
  • Wash vehicles at car washes that have water reclamation systems.
  • Promptly fix all vehicles that leak fluids.
  • Place absorbent material such as cat litter on any drips to clean up spills and dispose the material in trash.
Report Pollution
To report water pollution, promptly contact the city’s Public Works Field Service Division at 714-593-4600, or the city’s water pollution prevention hotline at 714-593-4441 during normal business hours. During nonbusiness hours, please call the Police Department at 714-593-4485.

Failure to comply with water pollution regulations can result in significant penalties and cleanup cost. For additional information, call the Public Works Department at 714-593-4441. Additional pollution information can be found at the Orange County Watersheds website.

Thank you for your assistance in preventing water pollution and protecting our environment!