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Stormwater Pollution Prevention

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Stormwater and wastewater eventually end up in the Bay. The water that comes out of your faucet is treated before it reaches your house and then enters the sanitary sewer system as wastewater. The wastewater that leaves your house is treated in a treatment plant before it is discharged to the San Francisco Bay. However, stormwater is not treated.


The stormdrain system consists of a network of pipes throughout the City of Santa Clara that convey surface water from the streets and gutters to the creeks. Since the stormdrain system is not connected to the sewer system and does not filter water or debris, any pollutant that flows into the storm drain ends up in our creeks, the San Francisco Bay and eventually the ocean. The City of Santa Clara has three ephemeral creeks (Calabazas Creek, Saratoga Creek and San Tomas Aquino Creek) and the Guadalupe River.

For this reason, only stormwater (rain) is allowed in the gutters and stormdrain system. The City of Santa Clara has a comprehensive program to prevent stormwater pollution which includes business inspections, public outreach, construction inspections, illegal dumping abatement, and maintenance of the creeks and stormdrain systems.

Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program (SCVRUPPP)

The City of Santa Clara is a member of the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program, which is a countywide organization dedicated to maintaining a healthy environment for the Santa Clara Valley's creeks, rivers and the Bay. Please visit for more information.

Reporting Violations

Nothing besides clean water may be dumped or allowed to flow into a storm drain. Common examples of illegal discharges include pesticides, wash waters, sewage, automotive fluids, paint, construction materials and wastes, sediment and/or silt, and food wastes.

To report an active illicit discharge (anything other than rain water going into a storm drain inlet), please call 408-615-3080. For after hours reporting, please call 408-615-5580. If there is a potential discharge, you may submit an online request

NEW SB 205 Business License Requirement

On October 2, 2019 the Governor signed Senate Bill (SB) 205 Stormwater Discharge Compliance into law governing municipalities that require a business license to operate within their jurisdiction. Effective on January 1, 2020 all business license applications (new or renewal) must demonstrate compliance (or enrollment) with the General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activities. The purpose of SB 205 is to protect water quality including the health and safety of drinking water sources statewide.

Not all businesses are affected by SB 205.  Below are types of businesses with SIC codes that fall under SB 205 (this information is included in Attachment A of the Industrial General Permit):

1. Feedlots of a specific size (SIC codes 0211-0272);
2. Manufacturing facilities (SIC codes 20XX-39XX and 4221-4225);
3. Oil and gas/mining facilities (SIC codes 10XX-14XX);
4. Hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facilities (often SIC code 4953);
5. Landfills, land application sites and open dumps (SIC code 4953);
6. Recycling facilities (SIC codes 5015 and 5093);
7. Steam electric power generating facilities (specific activities under SIC code 4911);
8. Transportation facilities (SIC codes 40XX through 45XX, except 4221-215, and 5171); and
9. Sewage or wastewater treatment works (SIC code 4952).

If your business has one of the identified SIC codes above, you will be required to provide the information below:

1. Name and location of facilities operated by the business
2. All primary Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes for the business
3. Any of the following for each facility operated by the business:

  • The Waste Discharger Identification (WDID) number, issued for the facility by the State Water Board
  • The WDID application number issued for the facility by the State Water Board
  • The Notice of Non-Applicability (NONA) identification number issued for the facility by the State Water Board
  • The No Exposure Certification (NEC) identification number issued for the facility by the State Water Board

Click the link below for additional resources:

Frequently Asked Questions for Industrial Businesses
Regulated SIC Codes in alphabetical order
Regulated SIC Codes in numerical order
City of Santa Clara Business License

Storm Drain Rates (July 1, 2019- June 30, 2020)

View rates (PDF)

The City of Santa Clara needs to comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NDPES) permit requirements, which aim to minimize the amount or pollutants that get into our waterways via storm drains. To accomplish this, the City of Santa Clara takes the following measures:

  • More frequent street sweeping in industrial zones
  • Early sweeping schedule in industrial zones to avoid parked cars that limit access to the curbside
  • Educational outreach
  • Adoption of Single-Use Carryout Bag and Polystyrene Foam Food Service Ware Ordinances
  • Installation of full trash capture devices in storm drain inlets 
  • Support community litter abatement efforts through the Adopt-a-Spot Program


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