Storm Drain Dumping
What is the Storm Drain System?
The storm drain system, also known as a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System or MS4, prevents flooding when it rains. This system moves water away from an area to a local water body, such as a creek or channel. The storm drain system includes the inlets (storm drains) and gutters on your street as well as pipes and outfalls, where the stormwater enters the water body.
What is Stormwater Pollution?
Stormwater is the polluted runoff gathered from rain and severe thunderstorms from roads, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces, where runoff collects pollutants and carries them downstream, ultimately into the San Francisco Bay. When it rains, stormwater picks up whatever is in the street: trash, oil, waste, fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, pet waste, and sediment.
That polluted runoff flows down storm drains, through stormwater pipes, to places where the pipes empty directly, without filtration or cleaning, into our creeks, channels, and the Bay.
Polluted runoff makes our waterways unsafe for swimming, threatens seafood, and causes localized flooding and property damage. These pollutants then contaminate not only our watersheds, but also our drinking water sources. Polluted runoff causes beach closures and water contact and seafood consumption advisories. In fact, scientists are now discovering intersex fish as a result of the chemicals in the increased polluted runoff into local waterways.
What is Non-Stormwater Pollution?
Any polluted runoff caused by humans is referred to as non-stormwater pollution and is a violation of the Fremont Municipal Code and the Federal Clean Water Act. Examples of non-stormwater pollution are:
- concrete wash water
- dumping of oil in street or storm drains
- power washing runoff
- cigarette butts, littering
Because water enters Fremont’s storm drain system flows directly into the nearest water bodies and ultimately to the Bay without treatment, it is critical to keep it pollutant free.