The ABCs of BMPs (Best Management Practices) for Stormwater Pollution Prevention

county of san diego watershed protection program

The ABCs of BMPs (Best Management Practices) for Stormwater Pollution Prevention

Stormdrain System vs Sewer System

Our Storm drain system

Did you know that water entering our storm drains is not treated before it reaches our local waterbodies, which include our creeks, rivers, lakes, and the ocean? In San Diego County, only rainwater is allowed to enter storm drains. If not managed properly, everyday household pollutants like trash, irrigation runoff, animal waste, oil, grease, yard clippings, fertilizers, and pesticides have a very good chance of polluting our local waterways if allowed to wash into the streets and into our storm drain system.

The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent this from happening. By establishing some Best Management Practices (BMPs) at your household, you can play a key role in contributing to cleaner waterways and a cleaner community. And while the implementation and maintenance of appropriate BMPs is important year-round, it becomes especially critical during the rainy season (October through April) when storm activity increases the potential for polluted runoff to enter our storm drains and waterways.

Examples of BMPs

BMPs are techniques or controls used to prevent pollutants from leaving your property and entering our storm drains and impacting our waterways. Some common BMPs include:

  • Cleaning out storm drains and ditches
  • Maintaining equipment and vehicles to prevent leaks
  • Sweeping driveways, sidewalks, and outdoor paved areas
  • Adjusting irrigation systems so water does not run off your property

For additional information on specific household pollutants and BMPs that can help, click:

Leaves on a tarp


Find My District


Report Stormwater Pollution
Report observed pollution to the correct jurisdiction.

Citizen Access Portal
Research property information and permits. Apply for some permits online.

GIS Maps
Find property information including zoning designation with our web-based mapping tool. 

Watershed Protection Website

project clean water

Project Clean Water efforts are focused on providing a centralized point of access to water quality information and resources for San Diego County Watersheds. Click HERE to visit Project Clean Water’s website.