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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.

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 to the property owner 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

First Report: 

  • Notification letters are mailed in response to reports of broken sprinklers, excessive irrigation runoff, watering during restricted times/days, or other water waste issues. Notification letters inform the property owner of the reported violation and recommends 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.

Second Report: 

  • If Valley Water receives a subsequent water waste report for the same violation at the same location, a second notification letter will be sent to the property owner and the site will be inspected in an attempt to verify the violation.

Third Report: 

  • On the third report of the same water waste violation, Valley Water will refer the case to the water retailer responsible for that address.
  • How the water retailer responds varies with the jurisdiction. Water retailers may contact the property to provide education, install a flow restrictor, or issue a fine.
  • Check with your local water provider to learn more about their water waste procedures.
  • If the water retailer is unable to resolve the water waste issue at the property, Valley Water will continue our investigation and may issue a fine after confirming the water waste violation(s). 

Additional Reports: 

  • Valley Water may issue fines escalating from $100 to $500 for violations and up to $10,000 for extraordinary amounts of waste. 


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.








Broken Irrigation








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.




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.



Mosquitofish prey on mosquito larvae









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.







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]valleywater.org.