Water Pollution Protection

Watershed Protection
2501 Embarcadero Way
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Telephone: 650-329-2598
Hours: M-F 8 AM to 4:30 PM

The Watershed Protection Group actively works with industry, businesses and residents to reduce pollutants entering surface waters and the sanitary sewer and storm drain systems. Routine inspections are conducted of permitted industrial facilities. The Watershed Protection Group advocates for environmental regulations that will improve water quality, and seeks to provide cutting-edge public programs and education.

Watershed Protection specifically helps track and understand regulations that may impact the wastewater treatment plant, which includes the national pollutant discharge elimination permit and the incinerator air regulations. A wide variety of programs that help reduce pollutants entering the Bay via wastewater and stormwater are managed here. Some of those programs include monitoring and enforcement of ordinances on polystyrene/plastic bags, dental amalgam and residential/restaurant disposal of fats, oils and grease. 

We are located at the Regional Water Quality Control Plant that treats wastewater from the East Palo Alto Sanitary District, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Stanford.

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2013
Reduce Plastics in Our Creeks and Bay
This page summarizes the City's work on reducing plastics in our local creeks and Bay.

Clean Bay Pollution Prevention Plan 2013
The Clean Bay Pollution Prevention Plan is a complete summary of the Palo Alto's Regional Water Quality Control Plants efforts on reducing pollution from entering local creeks and the San Francisco Bay.
Cover of report

Wastewater Long Range Facilities Planning
Wastewater Long Range Facilities Planning - Palo Alto has selected a consultant to conduct the Long Range Facilities Plan.
Linda Gass Artwork

Reporting Spills, Dumping, and Back-Ups
If you notice any unusual substance in or around a storm drain, or if you see someone dumping anything into the storm drain, street, or gutter, to local creeks or the Bay, or elsewhere in the outdoor environment, call 650-329-2413 immediately!

Energy/Compost Feasibility Study
On April 5, 2010 the Palo Alto City Council directed staff to hire a consultant to conduct a Feasibility Study for a dry anaerobic digestion facility on the southeast side of Palo Alto's wastewater treatment plant ("Plant"). (See "April 5, 2010 City Council Meeting Results." )

Protecting Creeks and Bay
The Bay is closer than you think. Find out how to minimize your impact to the bay!

2009 Plastic Bag Restrictions
The purpose of this summary is to provide information about Palo Alto's Comprehensive Reusable Bag Program.

Fats, Oils and Grease
The discharge of fats, oils, and greases to the sanitary sewer system is an important environmental and public health issue.

RWQCP School Outreach Programs
Regional Water Quality Control Plant school outreach programs are available to teach your students about the pollution prevention.