Environmental Compliance Frequently Asked Questions

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Where does the wastewater from my house go?
Wastewater from your house goes to the sanitary sewer system, which is plumbed to the Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Where does rain and storm water runoff go?
Rain and storm water runoff flow either directly to the nearest water body or into the City's storm drain system via street gutters and inlets which drain to the nearest water body. The storm drain system was designed to carry rainwater only and is separate from the sanitary sewer. Thus, rain and runoff do not go to the treatment plant and, instead, flow untreated to the nearest waterway.

How do I report a spill, overflow or dumping incident?
Please report any spills or dumping incidents, whether accidental or intentional, to the Environmental Compliance Department at (831) 420-6050. Emergencies should be immediately reported by calling 911. For more information click below:
Reporting Spills, Dumping Incidents and Back-ups

Who do I report a clogged storm drain inlet or gutter to?
During business hours, call the Public Works Department at 420-5160. Before or after business hours, call 911.

What are the requirements for washwater entering the municipal sewer? 

The washwater entering the municipal sewer should not have fluorocarbons, sedimentation, oils, and have a moderate pH. Further details are listed under Local Limits in Ordinance 2010-20  which amends section 16.08.110 of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code.

How do I report strange odors?
If you suspect that the odor is related to the Wastewater Treatment Facility, please call 420-6050. If you suspect an odor is coming from a hazardous substance threatening the environment, including a waterway, please call the Environmental Compliance Department at 420-6050 during business hours. After business hours, please call 911. If you suspect an odor is coming from a hazardous substance threatening human health or may be indicative of a life-threatening situation, call 911.

Where can I dispose of medicines or needles?
Pharmaceuticals and Sharps Disposal Program

What can residents do to prevent pollution?
Residential Programs

What can businesses do to prevent pollution?

 Retail and Commercial Business Program 

Vehicle Service Facility Program

Food Service Facility Program

Industrial Waste Program

Does my business need a permit to discharge wastewater? 
Who Needs A Permit?

Does my restaurant need a grease trap and what are the requirements?
Grease Trap/Interceptor Information

How do mussels handle microplastic fiber pollution?

Reply in USEPA Newsletter 2019