FAQs - Stormwater Program

Q01:  Why is my business required to have a stormwater inspection but my neighbor’s business isn’t?

A01:  Sacramento County has specified nine industry types that require a routine stormwater inspection to ensure continuing compliance with the local stormwater ordinance.  All businesses and citizens within Sacramento County are required to comply with local stormwater ordinance requirements, whether or not they receive a routine inspection.

Q02:  Why does my business get a stormwater inspection when there are no storm drains on the property?

A02:  A stormwater inspection is not about whether or not storm drains are on the site, rather, it is about the type of business activity conducted on the site.  Certain materials, wastes and business activities conducted outdoors have the potential to contribute to pollution of our creeks and rivers year round— not just when it rains.  See what the storm drain system is and how it carries pollutants to our local waterways. .

Q03:  Why do I pay EMD stormwater fees when I am already paying fees to the City?

A03:  The stormwater bill from EMD is an inspection fee. It is not a water bill, a sewer bill, nor a drainage fee. If you receive a stormwater inspection fee bill from EMD it is because in Sacramento County your business type is required to receive a stormwater compliance inspection. Stormwater bills from other agencies, such as from a water utility, are usually related to a drainage use fee.

Q04:  Why can I wash my car without collecting the wash water at home, but not at work? 

A04:  Currently, residential car washing is allowed in Sacramento County as long as no hazardous materials are discharged outdoors.  Therefore, at home you can wash a car outdoors without recovering the wash water for proper disposal.  A business is required to control wash water and pollutants as described here:  Vehicle washing alternatives.

Q05:  Can biodegradable soap be discharged to the storm drain system?

A05:  Businesses cannot discharge wash water of any kind to the storm drain system, with or without soap, including soap that is considered biodegradable.  Here are some  vehicle washing alternatives.

Q06:  Who do I contact if I see a stormwater violation in my neighborhood?

A06:  If you believe that you have observed a stormwater violation occurring at a business or residence, a complaint can be filed.  If it is one of the nine industry types listed here, contact 916-875-8550 and EMD will respond to the complaint.  For all other stormwater complaints, contact the local agency below:


​Phone Number

​ Website

​City of Citrus Heights

​916 727-4770


​City of Elk Grove

​916 714-5115


​City of Galt

​916 366-7260


​City of Folsom

​ 916 355-8344


​City of Rancho Cordova

​ 916 851-8905


​City of Sacramento

​916 264-5011


​Unincorporated Sacramento County

​916 875-RAIN


Q07:  Where can I get information about the State of California’s Industrial General Stormwater Permit?

​​​A07:  Visit the Stormwater program Permit Information Page.