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Sewers & Storm Drains

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The City has two drainage systems: sewers and storm drains.  General information about each is provide below.

 System  Information

The sewer system is designed to handle residential and commercial wastewater from sinks, showers, and toilets. Water that enters this system is filtered and treated before being re-introduced into the environment.


How to Verify Connection to the City Sewer System:

  • check your tax bill, or
  • Visit the Community Development Department public counter to review our records and plans. If they records prove inconclusive, a sewer dye test may be required.

Sewer Laterals: This is the line that connects your house to the public sewer line that serves your street or neighborhood.  These lines must be maintained by individual property owners, from the house out to where it connects to the City's main line (usually in the middle of the street).  If you need to find out where the lateral is located on your property, contact the Engineering Division.


Sewer Main Line Maintenance: These lines are maintained by the Community Services Department.

Storm Drains

The storm drain system is designed to prevent flooding by carrying excess rainwater into retention basins and then out to the ocean.  Water enters the system primarily through storm drains located along roadways. Unlike the sewer system, this water is not filtered or treated but runs directly into waterways and eventually the ocean.



NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System):
Storm drains create a huge potential for polluting the environment. That's because everything that goes into a gutter or storm drain, including litter, used motor oil, paint, pesticides, and other harmful pollutants, goes straight into local waterways and eventually the ocean. A single quart of motor oil dumped in the gutter can contaminate 250,000 gallons of ocean water.  Even natural things like leaves, yard clippings, and soil can harm our waterways. They create a lack of oxygen in the water, killing aquatic plants and animals. Pesticides and fertilizer from your yard can also make their way to the ocean if you over water and the water runs into the gutter.


Report chemical spills in a street or storm drain to the Fire Department immediately.