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Water Quality Enforcement ProgramCreeks

Polluted water in gutter approaching storm drain.Call the Enforcement Hotline at
(805) 897-2688, or submit a report online below.

The Creeks Division enforces violations of the City’s Municipal Code to protect local creeks and the ocean from pollution. Any pollutants that enter the street and reach the storm drain system will quickly flow into creeks and the ocean untreated.

Common violations include construction site discharges (cement slurry, paint, etc.), commercial washing (power washing buildings and patios, car washing, dumping of mop water), and litter/illegal dumping.

Some discharges that are NOT considered violations include uncontaminated runoff from landscape irrigation, water line flushing, foundation drains/crawl space pumps, air conditioning condensate, and individual residential automobile washing. 

When violations are reported, Creeks Division staff responds as quickly as possible to determine whether the report is a violation. Staff informs those responsible for the discharge (if known) that their actions are a violation of the Municipal Code, requires them to immediately stop the discharge, and provides a deadline for them to clean it up.

The fine structure of the Administrative Citation Program is shown in the table below. Note that offenses are counted within a twelve-month period.

Enforcement Stage First Offense Second Offense Third Offense
Initial Warning $200 One-Time Fine $250 One-Time Fine
First Missed Deadline $100 One-Time Fine $200 Daily Fine $250 Fine Per Day
Second Missed Deadline $100 Daily Fine $200 Daily Fine $250 Daily Fine
Third Missed Deadline Referral to City Attorney or Regional Water Board Referral to City Attorney or Regional Water Board Referral to City Attorney or Regional Water Board

Report Pollution Online

Use this form to report pollution in the street, gutter, storm drain, or creek. Information you submit will be forwarded to City of Santa Barbara Creeks Division Enforcement Staff. If you are reporting a violation outside of regular business hours (Monday - Thursday 8am - 5pm, and every other Friday 8am-5pm), it will be responded to on the next business day.

Please Note:

  • If you are reporting a sewage spill or hazardous material spill, please call 911.
  • If you are reporting a water main rupture or any type of flooding, please call the City of Santa Barbara Streets Division at (805) 564-5413.

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Last Updated: Sep 29, 2014