Home Improvements and Repair Waste

Stormwater Related Information Regarding Home Improvements

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

Did you know…

  • Home improvement activities such as painting, plastering and deep cleaning can generate pollution. These activities can require the use of chemicals such as thinners, adhesives and sealants which should be used with caution to avoid spills or leaks. 

  • If not properly managed, these pollutants can find their way into our storm drains where they may degrade our water quality and harm aquatic life. 

  • Even water-soluble latex paints contain chemicals that are harmful to aquatic life and drinking water. 

  • Releasing pollutants directly or indirectly into the storm drain system is a violation of the County’s Watershed Protection Ordinance (WPO)


What can I do?

  • Dispose of waste thoughtfully: collect all excess materials from your activities and dispose of responsibly. Some waste from home improvements can go in your regular trash, however any leftover chemicals such as paint or solvents need to be disposed of at your local hazardous waste facility. To locate a facility near you, visit wastefreesd.org.


  • Use Best Management Practices (BMPs): BMPs are techniques or controls used to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants, such as wash water from paint brushes, into the storm drain system. BMPs that protect water quality during home improvement projects might include blocking off storm drains before you start your project or use dry cleanup methods (e.g., absorbent materials such as rags, kitty litter, sawdust, etc.) whenever possible. 


Want to learn more?

The resources below provide suggested BMPs and further information on how to protect our waterways. Click the button to view available languages:


Know before you go….

Use nontoxic, biodegradable, recyclable and recycled products whenever available.


Contact Us

If you would like to report a home improvement discharge concern, 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 watersheds@sdcounty.ca.gov 


Thank you for doing your part to protect our waterways!