Who to contact
Report hazardous spills, illegal dumping, storm drain blockages, sanitary sewer backups or overflows in your community.
Not finding what you need?
Call the City of Palo Alto Public Works - Watershed Protection at 650-329-2122 or email email@example.com.
See how the RWQCP treats 20 million gallons of wastewater every day to protect San Francisco Bay.
MAP & Directions
To the City of Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant and the Household Hazardous Waste Station.
What's the latest
See how sea level rise will impact our lives. View the highest high tides of today, which preview the average tides of the future.
Keep these storm preparation tips and resources ready on hand this winter season.
Find out how scientists are targeting this plastic problem.
ReThink Disposable: FREE program for food businesses to save money and reduce waste and increase efficiency!
Learn more on how your business can participate.
Palo Alto takes new steps to reduce cigarette butt pollution and improve public health.
Find a disposal site near you.
» Report hazardous spills, illegal dumping, storm drain blockages, sanitary sewer backups or overflows in your community
» About the Regional Water Quality Control Plant
» Smoking ordinance changes
The Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) protects San Francisco Bay by treating wastewater from its service area and works with residents, industry and businesses to prevent pollution before it starts. The RWQCP is owned and operated by the City of Palo Alto and serves its partner communities of the East Palo Alto Sanitary District, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Stanford University.
Check out the two art pieces that Artist Martin Webb created for the RWQCP!
Stormwater is runoff generated when precipitation flows over land or impervious surfaces (streets, parking lots, building rooftops, etc.) without infiltrating into the ground.
This runoff picks up pollutants as it flows into storm drains, leading directly into creeks and the San Francisco Bay. Storm drain systems are separate from sanitary sewers and flow into our watershed without any treatment. During heavy rainfall, excess runoff causes flooding to occur.For more information:
- Map of storm drain watersheds within the City of Palo Alto.
- Learn about the City’s Stormwater Management Fee for flood protection, creek maintenance and more services.
- Visit Green Streets for tips on green stormwater features like rain gardens and rain barrels.
- Stormwater Rebates for Palo Alto residents.
- The City of Palo Alto’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Plan, to be completed by September 2019, describes how the City will integrate GSI features into its urban landscape and stormwater conveyance systems.
The City of Palo Alto recently took additional steps to protect public health and reduce litter by expanding the City's Smoking Ordinance. The revised ordinance prohibits smoking in multi-family housing (inside, common areas and buffer areas or sidewalks) and places restrictions on the sale of tobacco products. Smoking restrictions remain for outdoor commercial areas, outdoor dining areas, public events, work sites and service locations.
On March 1, 2016 revisions to a 2009 City of Palo Alto ordinance went into effect to further reduce litter from expanded plastic foam products (e.g., Styrofoam™). The ordinance prohibits both the retail sale and distribution of plastic foam ice chests, egg cartons, packaging materials and foodware. This measure is one of several to reduce litter in creeks, streets, and the Bay. Learn more.