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Storm drains connect your neighborhood to the watershed. Storm drains are not connected to treatment, but flow directly into our creeks, lagoons and ocean. You can help us prevent water pollution by following these simple methods:

Lawn and Garden Care

  • Keep all irrigation water on your property.  Runoff from irrigation is prohibited by the Carlsbad Municipal Code. 
  • Minimize the use of lawn and garden care products such as pesticides, insecticides, weed killers, fertilizers, herbicides and other chemicals.
  • Use environmentally friendly alternatives to rodenticides, pesticides and insecticides, also known as Integrated Pest Management.
  • Consider using native and drought tolerant plants.
  • Do not apply fertilizers, pesticides or other chemicals three to five days before any forecasted rain event.
  • Sweep up yard waste and debris and dump it in a trash can.
  • Do not use a hose to wash off sidewalks, parking areas and garages.

Vehicle Care and Maintenance

  • Consider washing your car at a commercial car wash, which recycles wash water. When washing a car at home, use soap sparingly and pour soapy water down the sink, not in the street. See current drought conditions for restrictions.
  • Prevent soap and water from running to the street or storm drain by washing your car over a pervious surface such as a lawn.
  • Use a hose with a shut off nozzle and sparingly apply soap, degreasers and other cleaning agents.
  • Use rags, drip pans, or cardboard when repairing vehicles or under leaking vehicles.
  • Leaking vehicles cannot be parked on city streets.


  • Take a bag when walking pets and be sure to always clean up after them.
  • Flush pet waste down the toilet or dispose of it in a sealed plastic bag and throw it in the trash.
  • Keep your pets on a leash for their safety.

Good Housekeeping

  • Use non-toxic products for household cleaning.
  • Use a broom, wire brush, mop or other dry methods to clean outdoor surface areas.
  • Never hose or wash anything to the street or storm drain.
  • Dump wash water to landscaping or to an indoor drain. A good rule of thumb is to consider any outdoor drain as a storm drain, which flows directly into our creeks, lagoons and ocean.

Pools, Spas and Fountain Maintenance

  • Only water that is dechlorinated, pH neutral and free of dissolved solids is allowed to be drained to the street and storm drain system.
  • Control the flow of water to prevent erosion.
  • Do not backflush filters or filter materials to the street or storm drain.

Download Residential Guide to Pollution Prevention

Download Construction Guide to Pollution Prevention