Stormwater Pollution Prevention

What Is Stormwater Pollution?
Stormwater pollution is urban runoff water that has picked up pollutants as it flows through the storm drain system, a network of channels, gutters and pipes that collect runoff from city streets, neighborhoods, farms, construction sites and parking lots, and empties directly into local waterways.

Unlike sewage, which goes to treatment plants, urban runoff flows untreated through the storm drain system. Anything thrown, swept or poured into the street, gutter or a catch basin, the curbside openings that lead into the storm drain system, can flow directly into our channels, creeks, bays and ocean. This includes pollutants like trash, pet waste, cigarette butts, motor oil, anti-freeze, runoff from pesticides and fertilizers, paint from brushes and containers rinsed in the gutter and toxic household chemicals.

Stormwater Pollution Affects Residents & Businesses
  • Contaminated urban runoff may contaminate local waters and contribute to beach closures.
  • Beach closures hurt local businesses, tourism and Orange County's image as a desirable place to live and work.
  • Litter, leaves and other debris clog catch basins, causing flooding when it rains.
Preventing Stormwater Pollution
Everyone in Anaheim can help prevent stormwater pollution. It is often caused by everyday behavior that you may not realize contributes to the problem. Simple behavior changes are all it takes to prevent stormwater pollution, if we all do our part.

Commitment to Prevent Stormwater Pollution
Street sweeping plays an important role in protecting the environment by removing trash and debris from the street before it can enter the storm drain system. Once in the storm drains, this trash would eventually end up at our local beaches. Last year, the City’s street sweeping program prevented approximately 5,000 tons of trash and debris from entering our storm drains.

Additionally, State regulations require that the City implement a routine street sweeping program as a means of protecting the environment. If the City does not implement the street sweeping program, the State may impose significant penalties upon the City until it complies with the requirement.