Reporting Spills, Dumping, and Back-Ups

The Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) treats wastewater for the East Palo Alto Sanitary District, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Stanford. However, different agencies handle stormwater, collection system, and spill response issues in these cities. 

The following information is for Palo Alto residents only.

Call to Report Hazardous Spills

If you notice any unusual substance in or around a storm drain, or if you see someone dumping anything into a storm drain, don't wait! Call the City of Palo Alto 24-hour communications line at (650) 329-2413 immediately.

Call the City at (650) 329-2413 if you see any spill of potentially hazardous material in or around a street, or gutter, in or around local creeks or the Bay, or elsewhere in the outdoor environment.

If you find out that hazardous materials have been dumped in the sewer system, call the Regional Water Quality Control Plant at (650) 329-2598.

Call if a Sewer Line is Blocked

Call the Utilities Emergency Line: (650) 329-2579

Note: If your drains back up because roots are clogging the sewer line, use mechanical root removal, not crystal-form root killers you flush down the toilet. Mechanical root removal is the most environmentally sound method of controlling roots in sewer pipes. Use of crystal-form, copper-based root killers have been banned in the Bay Area. They are also not as effective as mechanical removal, and they contribute significant amounts of copper (which is toxic to marine life) to the Bay's sensitive ecosystem.

Call for a Clogged Storm Drain

In an emergency (flooding imminent), call the Utilities Emergency Line at (650) 329-2579

If it's not an emergency, call Storm Drain Maintenance at (650) 496-6974 or submit it online via PaloAlto311.

Other Cities

Report spills, illegal dumping, and back-ups in cities other than Palo Alto.

 Cities Contact Information
East Palo Alto Sanitary District Back-Ups: (650) 325-9021
Storm Drains: (650) 853-3189
Spills and Dumping: (650) 325-9021
RWQCP(Sewer): (650) 329-2598
Los Altos


Back-Ups: (650) 947-2785 / (650) 947-2770
Storm Drains: (650) 948-0482 / (650) 948-8223
Spills and Dumping: 911
RWQCP(Sewer): (650) 329-2598
Los Altos Hills


Back-Ups: (650) 941-7222 / (408) 299-3233
Storm Drains: (650) 941-7222 / (408) 299-3233
Spills and Dumping 911
RWQCP(Sewer): (650) 329-2598
Mountain View


Back-Ups: (650) 903-6329
Storm Drains: (650) 903-6329
Spills and Dumping: (650) 903-6329 
RWQCP(Sewer): (650) 329-2598


Back-Ups: (650) 723-2281 (Work Control)
Storm Drains: (650) 723-2281 (Work Control)                                  
Spills and Dumping: (650) 723-2281 (Work Control)
RWQCP(Sewer): (650) 329-2598