> City of Daly City > City Hall > Departments > Water and Wastewater Resources > Pollution Prevention > Pollution Prevention

Pollution Prevention

Sewers are Different than Storm Drains Farm Tools
Answers to frequently asked questions
Household Hazardous Waste
Fairs & Exhibits
Useful Web Site Links
Sewers are Different than Storm Drains
  There are two different drainage systems found in Daly City.
Sewer- The sewer or sanitary sewer is the pipe that transports wastewater from toilets, tubs and sinks. When your toilet is flushed or the dishes cleaned the water enters the sewer and flows to the wastewater treatment plant. Most of these drains are located inside your home or business. At the plant, the wastewater goes through many processes to remove contaminants before being discharged into the ocean.
Storm Drain- The storm drain is the drain found outside your home or business. Those are the drain inlets or catch basins, you see at the end of the street/gutter. They are stenciled with the signage, "NO DUMPING, FLOWS TO BAY/OCEAN" They covey rainwater directly to the ocean and bay, untreated. That's why it is so important to prevent anything but rain from entering the storm drain!
Answers to frequently asked questions
  What liquids or solids can be disposed of into the storm drain?
NOTHING! Only rain is allowed to go into the storm drain.
Why do we need a stormwater program? Aren't businesses and factories the primary cause of water pollution?
Recent studies indicate that 80% of the pollutants entering the San Francisco Bay come from polluted stormwater runoff. This runoff begins on the street you live on.
Who can unplug or clean the storm drain by my home?
Call the Streets Department at 650-991-8097.
If I own a business, can I wash my vehicle there?
NO! Unless the wash and rinse water go to the sanitary sewer, not the storm drain.
Can I wash my personal vehicle at my home?
Washing your vehicle at a commercial car wash reduces the amount of pollution entering the storm drain system. If you must wash your vehicle at home, wash it on the lawn, or unpaved area, which will filter runoff. Never dump soapy water in the driveway, gutter, street, or storm drain.
The soap I used to wash my car is biodegradable; can that go to the storm drain?
NO! Biodegradable soap is only biodegradable if it goes to the sanitary sewer. It is still poisonous to aquatic life and cannot go down the storm drain.
Can I dump my used oil, antifreeze, and brake fluid into the storm drain?
NO! Never dump used automotive products into storm drains or sewers. Just one gallon of motor oil can pollute up to two million gallons of water! Call 1-800-CLEANUP for the location of the Used Oil Collection Center nearest to your home.
Can I rinse off my paintbrushes and cans into the storm drain?
All paint waste is toxic. Rinse off your brushes into the sink. For free disposal of your waste paint, call the San Mateo County Household Hazardous Waste Program appointment and information line at 650-363-4718.
What is the best method of applying pesticides or fertilizers to my lawn?
Follow the directions on the container, and do not apply pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers if rain is forecast.
What if I spill motor oil on the street or on my driveway?
Do not hose the oil off! Instead, sprinkle clay kitty litter, grease sweep or other absorbent material to soak up the oil. Dispose of the oil soaked material as household hazardous waste.
Household Hazardous Waste
Never pour household hazardous waste down your sink, toilet, or bathtub. Automotive fluids such as gasoline, motor oil or anti-freeze, as well as insecticides, paint, solvents, wood preservatives, lighter fluid and many other common consumer products are considered household hazardous waste.
NO Hazardous Symbol
Never pour household hazardous waste down the storm drain in your street. Stormwater runoff flows directly to the ocean or bay, carrying with it whatever pollutants were added.
If you have hazardous wastes in your home that you would like to dispose of, don't throw it away, call the Household Hazardous Waste Program for San Mateo County residents at 650-363-4718.
Fairs & Exhibits
Learn all you can about the environment. Attending environmental fairs and exhibits is a fun way to learn what the Department of Water and Wastewater Resources and other organizations are doing to protect the environment for future generations.
Fair Tent
Useful Web Site Links
  To learn more about the environment and pollution prevention, you can visit these web sites:
San Mateo Countywide Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (http://stoppp.tripod.com)
United States Environmental Protection Agency (http://www.epa.gov/ow/)
State Water Resources Control Board (http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/)
Western Regional Pollution Prevention Network (http://www.westp2net.org/)
San Mateo County Environmental Health Division (http://www.smhealth.org/environ/)
The California Environmental Resources Evaluation System (http://ceres.ca.gov/)
  Reusable Bag Ordinance
  Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance