Did you know that run-off water from storms and other sources goes directly to the ocean without benefit of any treatment?

When it rains, water collects and travels through the gutters into a catch basin. The stormwater is then transported through underground storm drain pipes. The water empties from the storm drains and eventually flows into the Monterey Bay. Unlike the sewer system, which carries wastewater from indoor drains (i.e. sink, toilet, and bathtub) to a wastewater treatment plant, the storm drain system releases stormwater into the ocean untreated. This means that any trash, organic materials, or hazardous chemicals which are dumped in the street can pollute our ocean. So please be cautious!

Green Waste

Although green garden waste is organic and will biodegrade, when it enters the ocean, clippings require oxygen to break down. Green waste in the ocean means less oxygen is available for marine life to survive. The bottom line is green garden waste washed into the ocean through our gutters and storm drains can suffocate fish and other marine wildlife. If you see anyone washing foreign material (e.g., paint, lawn clippings, concrete, etc.) into the gutters and storm drains, please call the Public Works Department at 831-899-6825.

Reduce Impact on Environment

In order to reduce potential impacts of stormwater on the environment, the City of Seaside holds a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. The City participates in a joint regional permit which must comply with certain requirements, including:
  • Encourage low impact development;
  • Maintain good housekeeping practices such as sweep city streets according to the schedule;
  • Providing community education about storm drain pollution and ways to reduce or prevent it;
  • Training City employees to reduce or prevent storm drain pollution from City activities;
  • Conducting educational site visits to business targeted as potential sources of polluted runoff;
  • Conduct inspections of construction sites to reduce polluted runoff.

Further Information

For more complete information on the City of Seaside's stormwater program and ways to reduce stormwater pollution, please visit the MontereySea website.

In order to properly maintain the storm drain system, the City of Seaside has a Draft Stormwater Master Plan (PDF). This Master Plan identifies improvements and deficiencies for the City to prioritize and implement through the Capital Improvement Program.