Storm Drains Versus Sewers

Sewer System

The sewer system collects waste water from inside homes and businesses (sinks, bathtubs, washing machines, toilets, etc.) and transports it to a water treatment facility where the water is treated before being released to the ocean.

Storm Drain System

The storm drain system takes all the water from outside homes and businesses (rain, over watering of lawns, urban runoff, etc.) and transports it straight to our local creeks, rivers, and eventually the ocean.

The storm drain system is designed as a flood control system to allow water from heavy rainstorms to flow quickly to our waterways to avoid flooding of our streets, homes and businesses. However, the rainwater can pick up pollutants such as large debris or as small as microscopic pesticides or fertilizer and flush it into our waterways resulting in negative impacts to wildlife, plants and other living things in our ecosystem. 

It is extremely important that we prevent pollutants from flowing into the storm drain system because storm water runoff is mainly untreated.