Who to contact
TOURS: 650-838-2901 (temporarily unavailable due to COVID)
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.
Participate in National River Cleanup Month!
Help keep trash out of our local creeks and San Francisco Bay by starting in your own neighborhood. Pick a Saturday this May from 9am to noon and commit to your own socially distanced cleanup.
Sign up at cleanacreek.org.
Need assistance with cleanup supplies? Free trash bags, gloves, and litter sticks are available for pick up at locations throughout Santa Clara County. Doing a cleanup in Palo Alto? You can request to have supplies delivered to your own Palo Alto residence or business. Register at cleanacreek.org and then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 329-2122 to schedule a delivery.
MAP & Directions
To the City of Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant and the Household Hazardous Waste Station.
What's the latest
MAY is National River Cleanup Month!
You're invited to help clean our creeks and waterways in your own neighborhoods or local waterways!
What are microplastics and what can we do about them?
Free Distance-Learning Watershed STEM lessons
Need some more educational resources for your children? Visit our schools page for free virtual lessons about our local ecosystems.
Safe Disposal for Sharps and Medicine
Find out where to properly dispose of your old, used, or unwanted medications and sharps.
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.
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.
- Find out how the City is adopting Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI)