Environmental Protection

The Environmental Safety Section of the Fire Department implements State mandated water pollution control programs to minimize pollutant discharges into Mountain View creeks and the Bay.

Water Pollution Prevention Program

The San Francisco Bay watershed, including creeks and streams that feed into the Bay, is known for its beauty, and is home to a vibrant ecosystem. The wide range of plant and wildlife species that live in the creeks and the Bay are sensitive to pollutants, including trash and toxic pollutants. The Environmental Safety Section of the Fire Department implements State mandated water pollution control programs to minimize pollutant discharges into Mountain View creeks and the Bay.

Watershed Protection

PA Treatment PlantThere are two primary pathways for discharges into the San Francisco Bay watershed. One pathway is the sanitary sewer system which takes wastewater that is generated from homes, businesses, and industries to the wastewater treatment plant, located in Palo Alto, where the wastewater is cleaned through an advanced biological treatment process. Wastewater pollutants are removed throughout the process before the water is either recycled or discharged into the Bay. The Environmental Safety Section implements programs and actions to ensure that quantities or types of pollutants are not flushed into the sewer that will disrupt the collection system, cause an upset of biological processes at the treatment plant, or pass through the system and discharge to the Bay without treatment. Examples of the programs and actions include:

  • Industrial facility inspections and monitoring
  • Commercial facility inspections, including Fats, Oil, and Grease (FOG) control at food service facilities
  • Enforcement of sanitary sewer pollution prevention requirements throughout the community
  • Sewer pollution prevention outreach and education
  • Review and inspection of source control and sewer pollution prevention practices at new and re-development projects

No Dumping sign stenciled on sidewalk near storm drainAnother primary pathway for pollutant discharges into the watershed is the storm drain system. Storm drains located along streets, parking lots, and on private property are critical for flood protection during rain storms. Rainwater runoff flows into storm drain and flows directly to creeks and the Bay. Stormwater runoff does not flow into a treatment plant, so any pollutant material, such as trash, oil, or a pesticide that is spilled or poured on a surface or in a storm drain will be flushed into the creeks and Bay. Polluted stormwater discharges are harmful to creek and Bay ecosystems. The Environmental Safety Section implements a number of programs and actions to reduce stormwater runoff pollution, including:

  • Commercial and industrial facility inspections
  • Construction site inspections
  • Enforcement of pollution prevention requirements throughout the community
  • Spill and illegal dumping incident response
  • Stormwater Pollution prevention education and outreach
  • Review and inspection of source control requirements at new and re-development projects
  • Review and inspection of stormwater treatment requirements at new and re-development projects

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