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Storm Water Protection

Carlsbad’s Storm Water Protection Program works to keep our creeks, lagoons and oceans clean and free from pollutants. Storm drains are not connected to the sanitary sewer system or treatment facilities.  Urban runoff and the pollutants it carries flow directly into our creeks, lagoons and ocean.

If there is a storm water or storm drain problem that is currently occurring, please call the storm water HOTline at 760-602-2799.


Carlsbad beaches got all A’s in Heal the Bay’s annual beach report card, a summary of water quality at more than 600 beach monitoring locations along the West Coast from April 2012 to March 2013.  Several of Carlsbad beaches made the top 35 best water quality honor roll.  For more information and the full report card, visit


Residential activities can affect storm water quality.  Home improvement projects, gardening, vehicle maintenance and even pets can cause pollutants such as sediment, fertilizers, insecticides, oil and bacteria to enter our waterways.  Do your part to keep pollution out of our creeks, lagoons and oceans with some simple techniques.

Learn more about residential Best Management Practices.

Industrial and commercial facilities in Carlsbad are subject to storm water rules and regulations.  Potential pollutants from business activities include trash, hazardous materials, bacteria, organics, metals, oil and grease.

The Storm Water Program conducts business inspections to evaluate Best Management Practices, and to inform business managers and employees of these rules and regulations.  Some industrial or commercial facilities may be subject to additional local, state and federal storm water requirements.  For more information, please call 760-602-2799. 

Construction sites can be subject to storm water management requirements.  For more information on construction BMPs and storm water, please call 760-602-2750 or visit Development Services.


2013 Heal the Bay report card

Carlsbad beaches got all A’s in Heal the Bay’s annual beach report card, a summary of water quality at more than 600 beach monitoring locations along the West Coast from April 2012 to March 2013, and five of Carlsbad’s beaches.  For more information and the full report card, visit

Trail cleanup events

Carlsbad residents are aware that it takes a partnership with the community to responsibly manage the unique and valuable natural resources in our coastal community. For more information visit the trails page or contact Liz Ketabian at 760-434-2978. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is storm water?

Storm water is water that originates during a rain storm.  Water that does not filter into the ground becomes surface runoff or urban runoff.

So what's so important about storm water?

In our urban environment, storm water runoff is channeled off roads and parking lots to prevent flooding.  However, unlike sewer water, storm water is never treated before entering downstream waterways.  Pollutants such as oil, fertilizers and trash can be washed off into our creeks, lagoons and ocean. 

I've also heard of a storm water permit.  What's that?

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a storm water permit  to all 18 cities in San Diego County, the Unified Port District, the airport authority and the county.  It requires the city to protect and improve water quality by preventing storm water pollution from construction, new development and existing development. 

So how does the city do that?

The Storm Water Program conducts inspections and monitoring, investigates complaints, and educates the public. Through this program, the city informs residents and businesses how to prevent pollutants and other hazardous materials from entering the storm drain system by using BMPs.

So what are BMPs?

BMPs are best management practices, or methods and measures designed to prevent or reduce water pollution.

What are some BMPs that I can use?

Click here to read about some simple ways to keep pollution out of our waterways.

So what do I do if I see someone dumping or washing pollutants down the drain?

Report any violations to the Storm Water Protection Program HOTline at 760-602-2799 or by email at

Where can I read more?

Learn more through our studies and reports.

Contact Information

Storm Water Protection
760-602-2799 HOTline
760-602-8562 fax

1635 Faraday Ave.
Carlsbad, CA 92008

General Information

Business hours
Monday Thursday
7:30 a.m. 5:30 p.m.
8 a.m. 5 p.m.