Alert 11/16/21 | 5:01 PM: Santa Clara County remains in a drought emergency, despite the rain. Learn more
FYI 11/29/21 | 3:08 PM: Mobile COVID-19 testing bus at Valley Water will be available on Wednesdays through the end of the year. Learn more
Back to top

Report Water Waste

Content

COVID-19 Program Notice

Report Water Waste!

Valley Water’s water waste inspectors respond to reports of water waste and violations of local water use restrictions. To report water waste, you may select any of these convenient options:

  1. Download our Access Valley Water app or go to Access Valley Water and select the "Conserve Water & Save with Rebates" category, or search "water waste" in the search bar.
  2. Call (408) 630-2000
  3. Email [email protected]

Please include photos, cross-streets, and landmarks with water waste reports whenever possible.

If you are comfortable doing so, some residents may appreciate a knock on the door and an FYI regarding water waste issues from a passerby.

Not sure how to prevent water pollution? Read more on how you can prevent water pollution. Whether it's from cleaning your car or draining your pool or letting irrigation water drain off your property, you can help protect your local waterways.

What Happens When You Submit a Water Waste Case?

When Valley Water receives a report of water waste, we open an investigation and make efforts to contact the person responsible for the property wasting water. Letters are mailed in order to educate the site owner and prompt them to take action. While Valley Water's team is not empowered to issue fines, we do provide education and resources to help residents reduce water use and eliminate water waste. Please support our efforts in increasing water-use efficiency by reporting water wasters.

The purpose of Valley Water's Water Waste Inspector Program is to educate the public with helpful tips, suggestions, and resources to reduce or eliminate water waste. Regarding specific water waste cases, like water waste emergencies, Valley Water encourages you to contact directly the local water provider that serves that address.

First Report: 

  • Our water waste are mailed in response to reports of broken sprinklers, excessive watering, watering during restricted times or other water waste issues. They notify the homeowner, resident or business owner to identify the problem and recommend ways to resolve it. In most cases, learning they have a broken sprinkler or are inadvertently wasting water by watering during restricted times, the resident or business owner understands and takes care of the issue.
  • Check with your local water provider to learn more about their restrictions and water conservation mandates. For large volumes of wasted water or persistent water waste cases, Valley Water will engage with the local water provider to request they assist in the response to address the inefficient use of water.

Second Report: If Valley Water receives a subsequent water waste report at the same location, they will again attempt to contact the site owner and encourage the responsible party to take care of the problem.

Third Report: 

  • On the third report of the same water wasting issue, Valley Water will refer the case to the local water provider responsible for that address.
  • How the water company responds varies with the jurisdiction. There may be more educational attempts, or they may have a citation or fine system in place.
  • Check with your local water provider to learn more about their restrictions and water conservation mandates.

Types of Water Waste to Report

Common examples of water waste from irrigation systems we encourage residents to report to water waste inspectors:

Overspray

Thumbnail

Watering sidewalks, roads, or other permeable hardscape can be avoided with more efficient irrigation equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thumbnail

Broken Irrigation

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thumbnail

Irrigating or Watering During Restricted Hours

Find Your Water Retailer can help you determine the restricted hours to irrigate in your area. It's most efficient to water landscapes during the evening or early morning.

 

 

 

 


Thumbnail

Washing a Car without a Positive Shut-Off Nozzle

Washing your car at home should be done with a positive shut-off nozzle, a bucket, and so the water runs off into your landscaping [PDF]. Many commercial car washes recycle their water: find a local car wash to save water and protect our waterways. MyWatershedWatch.org periodically offers discount cards for participating car washes.

 

 




 


Thumbnail

Watering During or Immediately After Rainfall

No irrigation is allowed within 48 hours of measurable rainfall (typically defined as 1/4-inch of rain or more).

 




 

 


Thumbnail

Leaking Water Meters

Contacting your water retailer can help you fix leaking water meters as well.

 

 

 

 

Where to Report Other Types of Water Waste

The water waste inspectors are best equipped to help address water waste from irrigation systems and landscapes. The additional contact information listed will help you find the proper team or agency to report other types of water waste and pollution.

Thumbnail

Broken Fire Hydrants

Contact your water retailer to report broken or leaking fire hydrants.

 

 



 


Thumbnail
Mosquito and larvae in standing water

Mosquito Sources

Mosquitoes are capable of transmitting diseases such as West Nile virus, Dengue Fever, and Malaria. Mosquitoes can breed in stagnant water in plastic pools, buckets, old tires, gutters with persistent standing water, etc.

The County of Santa Clara Vector Control District can help identify, eliminate, or remove these sources through measures including but not limited to mosquitofish. Related information can be found here. Report any breeding sources for follow up or anonymously through this online service request  or by calling at (408) 918-4770.

 

 

Thumbnail
Mosquitofish prey on mosquito larvae

 



 

 

 

 

 

 


Thumbnail

Hazardous Material Dumping in Creeks 

For urgent matters, call Valley Water's Pollution Hotline at 1(888) 510-5151. Then, report through Access Valley Water with the "Hazardous materials reporting" topic.

 

 

 

 


Thumbnail

Illegal Dumping in Creeks

Call Valley Water's Watershed Hotline at 1(408) 630-2378 or through Access Valley Water with the "Dumping, trash & debris" topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thumbnail
Only rainwater should flow into storm drains

Reporting Urban Run-Off and Pollution in Storm Drains

Only clean water may be dumped or allowed to flow into a storm drain. Common examples of illegal discharges include pesticides, water from washing vehicles or equipment, sewage, automotive fluids, paint, construction materials and wastes, sediment and/or silt, and food wastes.

When do you report an illegal discharge or dumping incident?

  • When you see a person dumping anything into the storm drain. This activity is illegal.
  • When you notice unusual odors in or near the storm drain.
  • When you see dumped wastes and materials in or near the storm drain.
  • When the storm drain system has larger than normal flows during dry periods.

To report an illegal discharge or dumping incident, contact the listed member agency in which the discharge or incident occurs:

Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga (408) 354-5385
Cupertino (408) 777-3354
Los Altos (650) 947-2770
Los Altos Hills (650) 941-7222
Milpitas 1-888-229-9473
Mountain View (650) 903-6378
Palo Alto (650) 329-2413 
(24 hour support)
San Jose (408) 945-3000 
(24 hour support)
Santa Clara (408) 615-5580 
(24 hour support)
Sunnyvale (408) 730-7260
Unincorporated Santa Clara County (408) 918-3400

In case of emergencies or after business hours, please call 911 to report the incident. For more information, contact SCVURPPP (Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff  Pollution Prevention Program) or call 1-888-BAY-WISE (1-888-229-9473).

Questions? Call our Water Wise Hotline at (408) 630-2000 or email [email protected].