Stormwater

What we can do...and why we should

Remember, the storm drain system was constructed to protect public health and safety by preventing flooding of homes, businesses, and streets.  The strom drain system is typically built with the street system, so that the new streets will drain during storm events.  The storm drain system consists of gutters, catch basins, manholes, underground pipes, roadside ditches, and channels.  When it rains, or if the yards are over watered, untreated pollutant sources are flushed to the strom drain system and into the ocean.

All of us are responsible for ensuring that our ocean and the contributing waterways remain free of pollution. Make the right choice, be part of the solution and not the problem. 

Remember - you are the solution to stormwater pollution


Here is how you can help!

Pet Care

Why should I pick up after my pet?    

  • When walking your pet, remember to pick up the waste and dispose of it properly. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain.
  • Pet waste is more than smelly and unsighltly, it can be a major source of bacteria and excess nutrients in local waters.

What should I do with my pet's waste?

  • Toss it: place the waste in a plastic grocery bag, tie the end securely and place in trash.

Landscaping & Gardening 

Fertilizers and Pesticides - Excess fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and gardens wash off and pollute streams.  In addition, yard clippings and leaves can wash into storm drains and contribute nutrients and organic matter to streams.

  • Don't overwater your lawn.  Adjust the timing of your sprinklers to avoid overwatering.  Consider using drip or bubbler irrigation instead of sprinklers.
  • Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly.  When use is necessary, use these chemicals in the recommended amounts.
  • Use organic mulch or safer pest control methods whenever possible.
  • Compost or mulch yard waste.  Don't leave it in the street or sweep it into storm drains.
  • Cover piles of dirt or mulch being used in landscaping projects.

Permeable Pavement - Traditional concrete and asphalt don't allow water to soak into the ground.  Instead these surfaces rely on strom drains to divert unwanted water.  Permeable pavement systems allow rain to soak through, decreasing stormwater runoff.

Rain Barrels - You can collect rainwater from rooftops in rain barrels.  The water can be used later to water lawn, garden areas, or houseplants.

Grassy Swales - Specially designed areas planted with native plants can provide natural places for rainwater to collect and soak into the ground.  Rain from rooftop areas or paved areas can be diverted into these areas rather than into storm drains.

To learn more about water wise landscaping design and plants, visit the City of Oxnard's South Oxnard Branch Library California Friendly Demostration Garden and the Water Section's Landcaping website.


Household Hazardous Waste

Some common sources of contaminants in storm runoff include materials such as used motor oil, antifreeze, and paint products that people pour or spill into a street or storm drain.

Recycle or properly dispose of household products that contain chemicals, such as insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, and used motor oil and other auto fluids.  Don't pour them onto the ground or into storm drains. 

  • Never use the gutter or storm drain system for disposal of household waste. 
  • Properly use and store all toxic products including cleaners, solvents and paints.
  • Select water based or latex paints whenever possible.
  • Use kitty litter or other absorbent material to clean up spills from paved surfaces.

The City of Oxnard Environmental Resources offers Household Hazardous Waste Collection events.  For more information, or to make an appointment call (805) 987-0717.


Auto Care 

Washing your car and degreasing auto parts at home can send detergents and other contaminants through the storm sewer system.  Dumping automotive fluids into the storm drains has the same result as dumping the materials directly into our water system.

  • Use a commercial car wash that treats or recycles its wastewater.
  • Repair leaks and dispose of used auto fluids and batteries at designated drop-off or recycling locations.

Did you know that Oil Recycling Centers are a free service to all City of Oxnard residents?  To learn more visit the Environmental Resources Division website for locations of Certified Used Oil Collection Centers.



For further information:
Water Resources Division

(805) 488-3517

Last Updated: Mar 15 2011