Irrigation Runoff

Irrigation Runoff

Preventing irrigation runoff from entering our streets and storm drains helps conserve water and protect our waterways from pollution!  All sources of pollution, including irrigation runoff, are prohibited from leaving your property; only rainwater is allowed in the streets and storm drains.

Did you know…

  • Even when water restrictions are lifted, irrigation runoff is still prohibited by the State, local agencies, and water districts.
  • Irrigation runoff can pick up pollutants that accumulate on the ground like dirt, bacteria, trash, and motor oil, and carry it into the nearest storm drain. Eventually, bacteria and other pollutants in the storm drain system could enter our creeks and beaches untreated.
  • Your local water district may offer other resources such as irrigation system audits through water conservation programs and incentives.
  • The County now offers rebates towards practices that help conserve water and eliminate irrigation runoff. Please visit the Waterscape Rebate Program for more information. 


What can I do?

  • Manage irrigation carefully: adjust sprinklers so they don’t spray onto streets or sidewalks and repair leaking or broken sprinklers as soon as possible.  Watch the free instructional video listed in the resources below titled "Understanding Your Irrigation Controller" - Courtesy of Helix Water District. 
  • Use Best Management Practices (BMPs): BMPs are techniques or controls used to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants, such as irrigation runoff, into the storm drain system. BMPs that prevent irrigation runoff include watering in short cycles to allow water to absorb into the soil or covering your yard drain with a mat while watering.


Want to learn more?

The resources below provide suggested BMPs and further information on how to protect our waterways.  Some resources have been translated to multiple languages. Please click the buttons to view available languages:

Irrigation Runoff
Check After You Mow
Yard Drains
Find Your Water District
Waterscape Rebate Program Logo

Understanding Your Irrigation Controller instructional video courtesy of Helix Water District


Know before you go…

Water in the early morning or late evening when it is cooler outside.


Contact Us

If you would like to report a concern regarding irrigation runoff, have questions about our program, or would like additional information call the County Storm Drain Pollution hotline at: 1(888) 846-0800 or e-mail us at


Thank you for doing your part to protect our waterways!