Storm Water Protection

StStorm Drains Connect Streets to Creeks - Ours to Protect Flyerreets To Creeks

The City of Cloverdale has partnered with our neighboring cities, Sonoma County and the Russian River Watershed Association to raise awareness about neighborhood storm drains and their connection to the vitality of our local creeks.

Storm drains connect #StreetsToCreeks that flow into our Russian River. It's up to each of us to make sure there's #OnlyRainDownTheStormDrain. Simply lending a hand can make a big impact. Like picking up litter or trash. If you grab it before water or wind arrives, it won't end up in our creeks. Learn more at the StreetsToCreeks website. #OursToProtect

Simple Changes Have Lasting Impacts

Simple changes have lasting impacts. Like scooping the poop! Sure, it's the neighborly thing to do when on a walk, but managing pet waste in backyards is important too. Scoop, and toss pet poop into your garbage bin before water or rain has a chance to wash it into a backyard drain. Speaking of yard care; when tending to your yard or garden, check the weather and your watering schedule. Runoff from rain, or even irrigation, can wash fertilizer, herbicides, landscape materials, compost, and leaf debris into the storm drain, causing potential impacts to our local creeks. Remember – timing is everything.

Washing your car at a professional car wash saves water and reduces pollution. Professional car washes capture wastewater which is then treated or recycled. It is the easiest way to wash your car and keep soap and oil out of our creeks. If you wash your car at home, divert water to where it can soak into the ground, like a lawn or planter strip. Use a bucket and empty soapy wash water into a sink. Remember, any water that goes into the gutter, goes directly into our creeks untreated.

What Businesses can do to Protect Storm Water

The majority of Cloverdale's businesses and residences are surrounded by lots of impervious surfaces such as roofs, driveways, and streetside parking spaces. Water run-off from every rainstorm runs over these impervious surfaces and picks up anything that it finds along the way. Contrary to common belief, stormwater does not get directed to our treatment facility like our sewer system. It goes directly to the Russian River. In a sense, Cloverdale's streets and gutters are part of the headwaters of the Russian River. This means garbage in the gutters, motor oil drips from cars, pet waste on sidewalks, pesticides, and other products that land on our streets flow directly into our river.

Though it seems like harmful runoff is an inevitable consequence of life in Cloverdale, small changes can have a big effect on reducing our impact on our river. Most storm drains in Cloverdale are marked with "No Dumping – Drains to Creek" labels to remind all of us that everything that lands in our streets eventually flows to our river.

Russian River Watershed Association (RRWA)

The City of Cloverdale has partnered with the Russian River Watershed Association (RRWA) to provide businesses and individuals with some helpful tips for protecting our river. The Urban Creek Care Guide (Guia para el Mantenimiento de Arroyos Urbanos) (PDF) is available for free in English and Spanish. Following the simple practices outlined in this guide will help keep our river clean...and our sidewalks...and our streets...and our businesses...and our schools...and our parks...you get the idea.

The Public Works Department is also available to assist anyone that has questions about stormwater protection. You may contact the Public Works Department by calling (707) 894-1728 or emailing us at

Storm Water Protection Business Assistance Program

The State of California has determined that nonresidential and industrial customers are most likely to discharge water that does not comply with State and Federal Standards and has required the City of Cloverdale to inventory, monitor and inspect nonresidential and industrial uses who discharge water to the city storm drain system or sewer system. The City of Cloverdale enacted the Cloverdale Wastewater Control Ordinance (CMC 13.16 et. seq.) and the Cloverdale Storm Water Ordinance (CMC 16.10 et. seq.) to provide a framework for preserving water quality.

All businesses connected to city utilities have been issued a Sewer Use Permit by the Public Works Department (CMC 13.16.100). This permit helps the City track how each business uses water and where the water goes. The permit also provides for periodic inspections. Most businesses will receive 2 inspections over the permit term of 5 years. A few high-impact businesses receive annual inspections. The Public Works Department contacts each business in advance to schedule inspections.

Common Pollutants

The City of Cloverdale has partnered with the RRWA to provide businesses with information regarding common pollutants and the activities that can potentially release them into the environment.

Questions & Assistance

The Public Works Department is available to assist anyone that has questions about the Sewer Use Permit and stormwater protection. You may contact the Public Works Department by calling 707-894-1728 or emailing Eric Janzen.