Homes and Business
Live -> 3:14am    Air/Ocean: 59.2/63.0    Wind: ESE 3.0    Surf: 3-4ft. SW    Smooth Ocean Surface    Sky: Clear 10 miles   Coastal Camera

Services > Environmental > HomesandBusiness > Homes and Business
Show Index

Quick Links

  • Water Runoff Pollution

  • Water Conservation

  • Trash & Recycling

  • Energy

  • Construction

  • Homes & Businesses

  • 24 Hour Reporting Hotline


  • Show Index
    Homes and Businesses

    By educating yourself about what causes stormwater pollution, you are on the right path to preventing it. A few basic tenets:

    Don't dump waste in storm drains.
    Keep yard clippings out of the street.
    Use and dispose of household chemicals properly.
    Clean up oil spills and fix leaking automobiles.
    Sweep driveways clean instead of hosing them down, and dispose of debris in the trash.

    Before you pour anything into the gutter or down the drain, stop and think! Storm drains go directly into channels and creeks...to the ocean. What may seem like a minor problem at your home can cause a major problem in the ocean.

    Did you know?

    Anything we use in our home, car, and business like motor oil, paint, pesticides, fertilizers and cleaners can wind up in the street. A little water from rain or a garden hose can carry automotive and household materials through the storm drain, polluting our creeks, wetlands and the ocean. Storm drains are in place to prevent flooding during a rain event - not for disposal of hazardous materials!

    Where does it go?

    These pollutants flow together on a journey from the storm drain into larger waterways like flood control channels, creeks and streams where they eventually empty into our oceans, harbors and beaches. This type of pollution is called stormwater and urban runoff and it’s a serious threat to our beaches, coastal environment and health to all of Southern California including you!

    What is urban runoff and stormwater pollution?

    Stormwater runoff refers to seasonal rainfall flows. It is very noticeable during a heavy rain when large volumes of water drain off paved areas. Urban runoff can happen anytime of the year when excessive water used for irrigation, car washing or cleaning carries litter, lawn clippings, dirt, debris and other urban pollutants into storm drains. Even an automobile leaking motor oil 20 miles inland can still pollute the ocean.

    How is it different from other forms of water pollution?

    Stormwater and urban runoff pollution can include anything that washes into the storm drain from the community. Unlike water pollution linked to factories or sewage treatment plants, stormwater and urban runoff pollution can come from driveways, city streets, neighborhoods, farms, construction sites, parking lots—anywhere! The EPA estimates that 40% of water pollution is from stormwater and urban runoff.

    What are BMPs?

    BMPs, or best management practices, are methods for preventing pollution from occurring. Oftentimes, they are free and easy! For instance, rather than throwing your cigarette butt from your vehicle, throw it in the trash.

    Some common sources of stormwater and urban runoff pollution include:

  • Cigarette butts and trash discarded on sidewalks and streets

  • Automotive leaks and spills

  • Used oil and other engine fluids disposed in the storm drain

  • Metals in vehicle exhaust, paint, rust, metal plating and tires

  • Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers from lawns, gardens and farms

  • Cleaners, paint and paint removers that are not disposed of properly

  • Soil erosion and dust debris from unprotected slopes, landscapes and construction activities

  • Litter, lawn clippings, animal waste and other organic matter

  • Oil stains on parking lots and paved surfaces

  • Hosing off driveways and sidewalks


  • What is the impact of stormwater and urban runoff pollution?

    Stormwater and urban runoff pollution has a serious impact on water quality in Orange County. Pollutants from the storm drain system harm marine life as well as coastal and wetland habitats. It can also degrade recreation areas such as beaches, harbors and bays. Many local surfers know firsthand the problems with trying to enjoy the beaches and ocean just after a rain. From a local standpoint, San Clemente beaches in and around storm drain outlets are most affected during periods of high stormwater runoff.

    HouseHold Hazardous Waste

    NEW! Curbside Household Hazardous Waste collection for San Clemente residents. Click Here to learn more.

    Click Here to learn how to use Orange County's Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers.

    BMPS for Homeowner Association (HOA) Areas

    Environmental protection isn’t just for the tree huggers-it’s for those of us who treasure our way of life. With more than 28,000 homes and 60,000 residents, it’s easy to see that homeowners are the largest contributors to San Clemente’s water pollution. What may seem insignificant at your home can cause an overwhelming problem at the beach. By changing the way we do things in and around the house, we may actually stop most pollution at its source!

    Here’s the test

    When wondering whether or not something is appropriate for the storm drain system, ask yourself: Would I Swim in This?

    Home Maintenance

  • Buy less toxic household cleaners and use small quantities. This is better for your health and your pocket book!

  • Take household hazardous materials and containers to a hazardous material collection center.

  • If you must clean with a hose, make sure the water drains to your lawn, not to the street.

  • When remodeling, take extra steps to make sure that nothing is leaving your property-except clean storm water in the event of rain.

  • Don’t assume that your contract knows all the facts! You are ultimately responsible for your property.

  • Move your vehicle on street sweeping day.

  • Recycle, recycle, recycle.


  • Residential Construction Activities

  • Construction materials, dirt, trash and wash water must not be allowed to enter the gutter, street or storm drain.

  • All stockpiles must be tarped and surrounded with sand bags.

  • Materials should be stored inside or in a covered and protected area.

  • Trash bins or dumpsters must be covered during rains and at the end of each day.

  • Litter will not be permitted.

  • Appropriate steps must be taken to prevent materials from leaving the property:

    • Erosion and sediment controls must be implemented.

    • Designated areas away from catch basins should be designated for port-a-potties, stockpiles and concrete wash out.

  • Construction is a messy business, but washing the site down with water is not allowed unless all water is collected.


  • Pool Construction/ Maintenance

  • Pool and spa drains must be plumbed to the sewer, not the street.

  • Water from pool construction / maintenance is never allowed to enter the gutter, street or storm drain.

  • If draining a pool, it is recommended that the property owner contact the sewage treatment plant at (949) 366-1553 for further direction.

  • The water may be directed into the sewer under specific direction.


  • Automotive

  • Residents are allowed to wash vehicles in driveways so long as the water leaving the location is clear and colorless.

    • Minimize water by using a nozzle

    • Use less soap, your car will actually be cleaner
    • ,br>
    • Never hose off brake dust or engine components at home-use a carwash

    • When in doubt, collect the water with a shop vac or towels

    • Pour excess soap on or in garden

  • Have your car maintained regularly to prevent oil, antifreeze and other fluid leaks.

  • Clean up spills with rags or kitty litter.

  • Recycle used oil and antifreeze by taking them to service stations and other recycling centers.

  • Never put used oil or other chemicals down storm drains or in drainage ditches. (One quart of oil can contaminate up to two million gallons of drinking water!)


  • Lawn & Garden

  • Don't over-water your lawn. Once water begins to run off you’re using too much. The excess overflow is a primary carrier of debris, lawn waste, pet waste and other pesticides into the storm drains and eventually to the ocean.

  • Use pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers sparingly in accordance with label instructions.

  • Do not apply any chemicals before rain.

  • Use a broom rather than a hose to clean up garden clippings.

  • Lawn clipping actually make the best (and least expensive) fertilizer.

  • Put leaves and clippings in a trashcan or a compost pile, and throw trash or other debris in the garbage.

  • If you elect to use a professional lawn care service, select a company that employs trained technicians and follows practices designed to minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Remember, you are responsible for your landscaper.

  • Turn off automatic sprinkler systems in winter.

  • Install drip irrigation.


  • Pets

  • It’s simple: clean up after your pets. Pet waste contains nutrients and pathogens that can contaminate surface water.


  • Smokers

  • Throw your butts in the trash, not the street.


  • Report Spills

  • San Clemente’s 24-hour reporting hotline - (949) 366-1553

  • Emergencies - 911


  • You can also help by participating in recycling, beach clean-ups, and the proper disposal of hazardous materials.

    BMPs for Homeowner Associations (HOAs) and Common Interest Areas (CIAs)

    Homeowner Associations (HOAs) and Common Interest Areas (CIAs) represent a large portion of the city. The runoff from these areas can be substantial, with the potential to greatly impact local beaches, parks and open space. HOAs and CIAs manage large landscaped areas, including parks and slopes, and private streets. If these areas are not managed appropriately, they could contribute to the degradation of San Clemente’s natural resources.

    Landscaping

  • Make sure landscaping contractors are aware of the environmental regulations by updating the contract language. Require and obtain copies of environmental trainings and certifications.

  • Oftentimes, HOAs and CIAs spend more on irrigation than on any other common expenditure. Rebates exist to help update your irrigation system to make use of weather and vegetation information saving you up to 40%.

  • All greenwaste must be collected and disposed of properly, preferably to a compost facility.

  • No materials may be washed or blown into the street or storm drain.

  • Is your landscaper IPM (Integrated Pest Management) certified? Limiting pesticide and fertilizer usage can improve the look of your community and save you money!

  • You get what you pay for! Be cautious choosing landscapes by price alone. Check training and specialties as well. A smart landscaper can save you a lot of money in the long run.


  • Residential Car Washing and other Allowable Discharges

  • Residential car washing is only allowed in common areas if the resident or contractor is collecting the water. Homeowners may wash vehicles on their property.


  • Residential Construction Activities

  • Construction materials, dirt, trash and wash water must not be allowed to enter the gutter, street or storm drain.

  • All stockpiles must be tarped and surrounded with sand bags.

  • Materials should be stored inside or in a covered and protected area.

  • Trash bins or dumpsters must be covered during rains and at the end of each day.

  • Litter will not be permitted.

  • Appropriate steps must be taken to prevent materials from leaving the property:

    • Erosion and sediment controls must be implemented.

    • Designated areas away from catch basins should be designated for port-a-potties, stockpiles and concrete wash out.

    • Construction is a messy business, but washing the site down with water is not allowed unless all water is collected.


    Pool Construction/ Maintenance

  • Pool and spa drains must be plumbed to the sewer, not the street.

  • Water from pool construction / maintenance is never allowed to enter the gutter, street or storm drain.

  • If draining a pool, it is recommended that the property owner contact the sewage treatment plant at (949) 366-1553 for further direction. The water may be directed into the sewer under specific direction.


  • Schedule a Presentation

    If your HOA would like more information on any of the above topics, you can schedule a presentation by Project Surf staff. by calling (949) 361-6143.

    BMPs for your Business

    San Clemente boasts a wide variety of businesses including retail, entertainment, wholesale, light manufacturing, food services, automotive repair, technology, health care, etc. San Clemente takes pride in encouraging the growth and production of local goods for its residents and surrounding community. Businesses and the environment of San Clemente are mutually dependent. Businesses play a key role in the preservation of San Clemente’s natural resources and the health of the natural resources plays a key role in the success of our businesses.

    Some common BMPs for businesses in San Clemente include:

  • Use a broom, mop or rags instead of a hose to clean. If you really need to use water, just make sure it’s collected with a towel or shop vac.

  • Store materials indoors if possible. Otherwise, cover with a tarp or canopy.

  • Keep outside areas (dumpsters, parking lots, loading areas, etc.) free of trash and debris.

  • Never perform automotive work outdoors.

  • Floor mats, machinery and other tools-of-the-trade should be cleaned inside.

  • Never pour mop water in the gutter, street or storm drain.

  • Routinely clean and inspect all storm drain inlets on your property. Throw any solid material collected in the trash.

  • Inspect, clean and maintain all grease traps, interceptors, clarifiers and oil and grease separators.

  • Properly dispose of all hazardous waste.


  • Individual businesses have individual solutions. Ask yourself, would you swim in the water running off your property?

    Some businesses require coverage under the General Industrial Stormwater Permit. See if this applies to you.

    City of San Clemente
    City Hall | 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente, CA 92672 | Phone (949) 361-8200  |  FAX (949) 361-8285
    Community Development | 910 Calle Negocio, Suite 100, San Clemente, CA, 92673 | Phone (949) 361-6100  |  FAX (949) 361-8281
    Contact Us!  |  Disclaimer  |  eMail City Hall  |  eMail Community Development  |  eMail Web Master  |  Hit Count  |  Website Map
    Tag map to City Hall     Scan this tag with your smartphone to map to City Hall. http://gettag.mobi for free mobile app.