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:
- 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.
- Call (408) 630-2000
- Email [email protected]
Please include photos, cross-streets, and landmarks with water waste reports whenever possible.
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. Regarding specific water waste cases, like water waste emergencies, Valley Water encourages you to contact directly the local water provider that serves that address.
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, and site visits are conducted in order to educate the site owner and prompt them to take action. Please support our efforts in increasing water-use efficiency by reporting water wasters.
On May 24, 2022, Valley Water passed a resolution to give authority to issue fines for repeated reports of unresolved water waste. Visit our Watering Restrictions Enforcement Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the resolution and how we can help one another conserve our most precious resource.
The following types of water waste are enforceable under Ordinance No 22-02 :
- Irrigating Non-Functional Turf more than two days a week
- Irrigating outdoor landscapes between 9 AM and 6 PM
- Irrigating in a manner that results in more than Incidental Runoff
- Irrigating during or within 48 hours of rainfall of at least 0.25 inches
- Irrigating Non-Functional Turf at a Commercial, Industrial, or Institutional property (per State Water Board Emergency Regulation)
Our water waste letters 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.
- 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.
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 water waste procedures.
- Valley Water may issue fines starting at $100 and going up to $10,000 for those who do not correct violations even after repeated notices.
Types of Water Waste to Report
Common examples of water waste from irrigation systems we encourage residents to report to water waste inspectors:
Watering sidewalks, roads, or other permeable hardscape can be avoided with more efficient irrigation equipment.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Broken Fire Hydrants
Contact your water retailer to report broken or leaking fire hydrants.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|Los Altos||(650) 947-2770|
|Los Altos Hills||(650) 941-7222|
|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)
|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).