What is storm water? Storm water is the water that flows through gutters and into storm drains when it rains. During dry weather, water also flows into gutters and storm drains as a result of pavement washing, runoff from excess lawn irrigation, residential car washing, and other activities.
Storm water is not treated: Unlike the wastewater that flows through the sanitary sewer system to the City's Water Pollution Control Facility, water that flows through the storm drain system is not treated. It is released directly to local waterways. In Woodland, storm water is conveyed from west to east, by gravity, through canals and pipes to a pump station, where it is pumped into a canal that flows from the Yolo Bypass to the Tule Canal which, in turn, feeds the Sacramento River.
Storm water pollution: Storm water pollution occurs when pollutants such as automobile fluids, sediment, chlorinated water, pesticides and plant material are poured or washed down storm drains. Rain water picks up pollutants as it flows across paved surfaces and carries them into the storm water conveyance system and out to local waterways. Trash, yard clipping debris, and other solid waste materials left in streets and gutters are also carried into the storm drain system. Examples of pollutants commonly found in storm drain systems include yard waste (leaves, grass, sticks, branches, mulch), soil and gravel, construction waste and residues (concrete, mortar, sawdust), pet waste, paint, varnishes and solvents, motor oil and other automobile fluids, pesticides, fertilizers, and trash.
Because of these factors, urban storm water runoff remains the nation's largest source of water quality problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The City's storm water discharges must comply with requirements of the federal Clean Water Act. The state of California administers these requirements through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit process. The City's blueprint for permit compliance is State Water Resources Control Board (Board) Water Quality Order 2013-0001-DWQ, Waste Discharge Requirements for Storm Water Discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), also known as the General Permit. Each year, the City must report to the Board its progress in implementing the requirements of the General Permit.
An illegal discharge is any non-permitted or non-exempt discharge of pollutants to the storm water conveyance system. Examples of exempt (allowed) discharges are dechlorinated swimming pool water, air conditioning condensate, potable water, and water line flushing. Pouring or washing carpet cleaning water, motor oil, pesticides, chlorinated swimming pool water, or any other materials that are potentially harmful to the environment, into gutters and drain inlets is considered an illegal discharge.
Reporting problems: If you see someone dumping oil, trash, or other pollutants into gutters, storm drains or canals in the City's system, please report the incident to us at 661-5962. Note the address and as much pertinent information as possible.
Swimming pools and spas: Drain your swimming pool or spa into your sewer cleanout or onto landscaping. Only drain to the gutter if you can verify that the water has been dechlorinated and is free of algae.
Yard waste: Place yard waste piles in the street only if your green waste cart is full and only in accordance with your green waste program schedule (see Green Waste & Composting). Place piles away from curb and drain inlets to allow for free movement of storm water in the gutter.
Landscape maintenance: Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly and do not over-water your lawn.
Pet waste: Dispose of pet waste in the trash - never in yard debris piles or in the storm drain.
Construction debris: Sweep up and properly dispose of household construction debris such as concrete and mortar.
Concrete: Wash brooms and tools used for concrete work in a wheelbarrow or tub of water. Let the water evaporate and throw away the concrete waste, or pour the water out on a contained, paved surface where it can dry and be swept up.
Automotive: Repair auto leaks. Recycle used motor oil (contact Waste Management at (530) 662-8748 for container).
Hazardous waste: Dispose of household hazardous waste, used auto fluids, paint and batteries at designated hazardous waste collection or recycling locations. Free Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Days are held a the Yolo County Central Landfill every Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.