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We all play an important role in protecting our water, wildlife, and plants.

Prevent Irrigation Runoff

Do you have a lawn or garden? Please prevent irrigation runoff because the irrigation runoff enters the storm drain system and transports pollutants such as fertilizer and pesticides into local waterways, negatively impacting our local water quality. To prevent irrigation runoff from entering the storm drain system, follow these steps:

  • Check irrigation system for broken lines and sprinkler heads, then replace if necessary.
  • Adjust sprinklers to prevent overspray onto the sidewalk and street.
  • Be aware of the frequency and duration of your irrigation system to prevent overwatering. Run sprinklers in the early morning hours or in the evening to reduce evaporation by the sun.
  • If you have slopes that are not planted, cover them with plants or mulch to prevent the dirt from eroding.
  • Minimize or eliminate toxic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or use less-toxic alternatives for a healthy home and garden. See the Our Water Our World Program website for more information.
  • Store pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals in a covered area.

Draining the Pool or Spa

  • Swimming pool pool and spa water is chlorinated and can negatively impact the environment. Do not let it flow onto the street or into the storm drains without first following the guidelines on the fact sheet listed below.
  • Pollution Prevention Fact Sheet for Swimming Pools, Spas, and Ponds.
  • If you have a pool or spa that needs to be emptied, call the City of Santa Maria Utilities Department at (805) 925-0951 extension 7270 for information on how to properly dispose of the water.

Keep Cars Clean and Well Maintained

  • It is best to take your car to a local car wash instead of washing it in your driveway.
  • Going to a car wash will keep detergents and other pollutants from entering the storm drain and local creeks.
  • Even detergents labelled "earth-friendly”, or "biodegradable" can be harmful to water quality.
  • Sweep your driveway and pavement rather than hosing it down.
  • Keep vehicles in good condition to prevent leaks.
  • Clean up spills immediately by using absorbent material such as rags, kitty litter, or sand. Dispose of absorbent materials properly.
  • If you change your own oil or do other repairs, it is important to properly dispose of hazardous materials. Hazardous materials can be disposed of for free at the Santa Maria Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at the Santa Maria Regional Landfill. The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility is open on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

 Pet Care

  • Always pick up your pet’s waste to keep your neighborhood clean and keep bacteria out of local waterways.
  • The City has numerous Mutt Mitt pet waste stations that are provided at local parks and landscape maintenance areas.  
  • When washing your pet outside, do so in a way that allows the water to drain into your landscaping. This also helps ensure chemicals do not flow into the street or storm drain system.

Good Housekeeping

  • Many household cleaners and chemicals are hazardous to your family's health and the environment. Never pour these products into storm drains or down your household drains.
  • Pick up and dispose of or recycle trash.  When it goes into creeks it creates health risks to humans and the creatures that live there.
  • Sweep patios and sidewalks instead of power washing.

Household Hazardous Waste

  • Clean painting tools such as brushes, buckets, rags in an area where the waste can be contained such as portable containers and properly disposed of.
  • If you change your own oil or do other repairs, it is important to properly dispose of hazardous materials.
  • Always recycle used batteries, oil, chemicals, and paint. 
  • Dispose of oil, paint, used batteries or other chemicals at the Santa Maria Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at the Santa Maria Regional Landfill.