Stormwater OutreachPerson filling glass of water from a rush of clear water

Community outreach and public information play a vital role in the success of the Stormwater Program. Since stormwater collected in streets and catch basins flow untreated to our waterways, it is vital to prevent pollution at the source. 


Waterways become polluted when used motor oil, antifreeze, paints, fertilizers, pet waste, soapy water, and pesticides are washed into the storm drains. These pollutants are the number one source of pollution in our nation’s urban waters. Storm drains were designed to collect only rain and clean water runoff to prevent flooding during storms. 


  • Never dispose of leaves, grass clippings, trash, oil, paint, chlorinated (pool) water, or any other type of pollutant into the gutters or street catch basins.
  • Rake leaves, dirt, and debris from gutter in front of your home to help prevent clogs and flooding. 
  • Never place filters or screens in front of storm drains. This can lead to clogs and flooding. 


Stockton Municipal Code (SMC) 8.04.210 prohibits the deposit of any recyclable material, green waste, garbage, rubbish, or waste matter on any street, alley, gutter, park, or other public way, vacant lot, water or waterway, or on levees. Anyone caught dumping may be cited and fined according to SMC 13.16.Article V.430.


We can all do our part to keep our local sloughs, rivers, and the Delta free of debris and pollutants.  The Stormwater Program offers volunteer opportunities, educational material, videos, news releases, and tips for residents and businesses to help prevent pollution at the source. 


Tips for Businesses

Tips for Residents


Volunteer Opportunities

Stream Clean-up

Join volunteers – from local high schools, colleges, Friends of Smith Canal, Friends of Five Mile Creek, Friends of the Calaveras River, Little Friends of Duck Creek, Boy Scouts, and others – for stream clean-up projects.  Organize a class project, get members of your civic group or club, or just gather a group of concerned neighbors for a few hours to clean a waterway near you. 


California Coastal Clean-up

Join thousands of volunteers who participate in the annual California Coastal Cleanup on the third Saturday in September.  For the last five years, more than 500 Stockton residents, students, and businesses have participated in this annual cleanup event along waterways throughout the community.


Stenciling Program

Did you know there are more than 20,000 storm drains in Stockton? 

Think about all of the debris and pollution that ends up in those drains; then think about where those drains flow – into our local sloughs, rivers, and to the Delta.

Stenciling storm drains with "No Dumping - Flows to Delta" reminds people what goes down those drains.

The Stormwater Management Program provides paints, stencils, and a map of where Stockton storm drains are located for groups and individuals. Take a day, a week, or as long as you need to stencil as many drains as you’d like. If you or your group stencils 100+ drains, you'll receive special community recognition from the Mayor at a City Council meeting.


Green Car Wash Program

The Green Car Wash Program links local fundraising organizers with participating professional car wash operators to encourage a more environmentally-friendly car wash. Traditional parking lot car washes often allow soap, dirt, grime, and automotive fluids to flow down the streets to drains that dump directly into rivers and streams and poison fish, wildlife, and plants.

“Green” car washes partner organizations with professional car wash facilities that recycle water and do not dump dirty soap water down the storm drains to local waterways. These carwashes are even profitable for both fundraisers and the professional car washers. More information can be found in our "Green Car Wash Program PSA" (10/13/10) in the City's Video Archive.


Stormwater Pollution Prevention Educational Material

A 35-minute interactive presentation teaches students about the importance of;

  • stormwater pollution prevention,
  • water cycle and the earth’s limited supply of water,
  • how our water is recycled, and
  • difference between storm drains and sewer drains.  

Students gain a better understanding of the wastewater treatment process and its similarities to the way nature cleans our most valuable resource...water.

There is no charge for this program, designed for fifth-graders, and this program can help teachers meet the science component of the California Content Standards for fifth grade students.  The program includes:

  • Brief video presentation,
  • Stormwater activity booklet and sticker,
  • lassroom packet of water information and supplies, and
  • “Go With the Flow” stormwater video. 

Teachers can choosed the full presentation or just print materials for classroomuse


Community Presentations

Representatives from the Stormwater Outreach Program are available for community presentations on pollution prevention. Great learning experience for students, employees, church parishioners, civic groups, or club members.

With a watershed model display, PowerPoint presentation, or just a short overview, your group can learn exactly how storm drains work and how pollution gets from our streets and neighborhoods into surrounding waterways.


Earth Day Festival

Each year in April, the City of Stockton joins with the Peace and Justice Network to sponsor the annual Earth Day Festival. The day is filled with activities to promote environmental awareness.

The Festival is held at Victory Park, where more than 70 vendors are on hand with educational material, interactive displays, music, crafts, and information to promote environmental awareness.


News and Information

For more information on volunteer programs, contact the Stormwater Outreach Coordinator.



External Links

Stockton Municipal Code (SMC) 8.04.210 - Illegal Dumping

Stockton Municipal Code 13.16.430 - Administrative Enforcement Powers for fines of Illegal Dumping


Our Water, Our World: Mannage pests while protecting our water

River of Words: Additional Educational Material

San Joaquin County Household Hazardous Waste

This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 2/24/2017



Pet Waste PSA


Green Car Wash Program PSA


See more City of Stockton videos