NPDES – Water Quality Inspections

Help Prevent Ocean Pollution

Do your part to prevent water pollution in our creeks, rivers, bays and ocean.

Clean beaches, healthy creeks, rivers, bays, and ocean are important to Orange County. However, many common household activities can lead to water pollution if you’re not careful. Litter, oil, paint, chemicals and other substances that are left on your yard, driveway or in the street can be blown or washed into the street gutters that lead to storm drains that flow to the ocean. Over-watering your lawn and washing your car can also flush materials into the storm drains. Unlike water in sanitary sewers (from sinks and toilets), water in storm drains is not treated.

You would never pour soap, paint, fertilizers or oil into the ocean, so don’t let them enter the streets, gutters or storm drains.

Follow These Easy Tips

  • Do not rinse spills with water! Sweep up outdoor spills and dispose in the trash.
  • For wet spills use oil, apply cat litter or another absorbent material, then sweep and bring to a household hazardous waste collection center.
  • Securely cover trash cans.
  • Do not hose down your driveway, sidewalk or patio. Sweep up debris and throw away.
  • Always pick up after your pet. Flush the waste down the toilet or dispose in the trash.
  • For home improvement jobs, make sure that construction materials are off the street and use sandbags and plastic tarps to cover sediment or other material that could be washed down the storm drain by rainy weather.
  • Do not drain your pool unless it has been de-chlorinated and has a PH balance between 6 and 8.
  • Water your lawn by hand to stop sprinkler overflows, and do not fertilize your lawn if rain is in the forecast.
  • Do not dump wash water on to your driveway, street or gutter.
  • Monitor vehicles for leaks and place pans under leaks. Keep your car well maintained to stop and prevent leaks.
  • NEVER pour oil, antifreeze, engine degreasers or any other substance down the storm drain.
  • Any substance other than rain water may harm the environment and pollute our waters.

For more information, please call Justin Watts at (714) 548-3472 or the Orange County Stormwater Program at (714) 567-6363 or visit