Residential Overview

Since the creation of the Federal Clean Water Act in 1972 the water quality of American rivers, creeks, lakes and other waterbodies has improved. However, because our population continues to grow there is a need for more urbanized areas that include neighborhoods, businesses, streets and recreational areas. Storm water and urban runoff is now the leading cause of beach closures and water-quality impairment in the San Diego Region. The sources of the pollution come from neighborhoods like yours. Water that comes from rain, irrigation runoff, swimming pool discharges, car washing, and other activities can carry pollutants down the storm drain system to the nearest waterbody. Because Oceanside is a coastal city, we rely on clean water, particularly clean ocean water, to support the local economy and ensure people’s safety when swimming, surfing or playing in the water.


What causes water pollution?

When we construct new buildings, homes, streets, parking lots or other hard surfaces, we decrease the amount of land that can absorb rainwater and increase the amount of surfaces that are impervious, or cannot absorb liquids. Therefore, storm water runs off these impervious surfaces and flows into storm drains, which are the holes in the gutters that carry rainwater away from our streets to prevent flooding. Storm drains divert this runoff to the nearest waterbody (creek, river, lake or ocean). Storm drain systems do not filter or clean storm water, so all the pollutants lurking on our streets, and picked up by urban runoff and are carried to the nearest waterbodies.

There are a variety of pollutants that contaminate storm water.

Inside of the Storm Drain

This is a snapshot of the inside of a storm drain, before it was cleaned.

Pollutant Factsheets

Leaf litter, trash, sediments and chemicals are just a few of the many pollutants that contaminate storm water. For more information about storm water pollutants and ways you can help prevent or reduce these pollutants form reaching our waterways, click on the links below.

Report any water running in the street when it is not raining or someone dumping something in the storm drain or curb and gutter by calling the
Urban Runoff Hotline at 760-435-4500.