Public Works
Director - Carl Brown
City Of Manteca


General Information

Stormwater is water that runs over the land after rainfall because it was not able to soak into the ground. Stormwater flows over impermeable surfaces, like buildings, sidewalks, streets, and parking lots, before reaching a storm drain or surface waterbody. As the water flows over the ground and into the storm drain system, it can pick up pollutants. Since stormwater is not treated, the pollutants are transported directly to our local creeks and rivers through the storm drain system. This means that the quality of our stormwater impacts the quality of our local rivers and other waterbodies. It’s all connected!

Find out how you can prevent stormwater pollution by reporting illegal discharges or dumping, as well as making some easy to changes to your car washing, gardening, or pest control routines.

Reporting Illegal Discharges and Dumping

It is illegal to knowingly dump or discharge hazardous materials into the storm drain or ditches on your street. Commonly dumped materials include:

  • Paint
  • Motor oil
  • Construction and demolition debris
  • Yard trimmings and green waste
  • Household garbage
  • Medical waste
  • Tires

To report illegal dumping or discharging, call 209-456-8470 or use the free GoGov mobile app (Available on the App Store or Available on Android).


Don't Trash Manteca

Tips to keep trash out of our waterbodies:

Pet Waste and Stormwater Don't Mix

  • Always pick up after your pet by sealing the waste in a pet waste bag and disposing of it in the trash.
  • Carry pet waste disposal bags with you on walks and hikes, so you don't leave pet waste on the trail or in surrounding vegetation.
  • Keep your pet on a leash when walking along creeks and ravines.
  • Pick up pet waste left in your yard.
  • Never use a hose to wash pet waste into the street or down a storm drain. All storm drains flow directly to local creeks, bays, or the ocean, which pet waste will pollute

Manage Green Waste to Keep our Water Blue

Green waste from lawns and gardens can pollute water bodies if it ends up in streets or storm drain systems. Follow these tips to reduce yard waste pollution of stormwater:

Landscaping and Irrigation

The way we landscape and manage irrigation can have a big impact on local water quality. By creating spaces that encourage water to soak into the ground, instead of running off into a storm drain or waterbody, we can reduce the amount of soil and chemicals that end up in our local waterbodies.

Keep these tips in mind when landscaping or watering your yard and garden:

  • Use porous surfaces, such as stones, gravel, mulch, or other materials, in unplanted areas. These materials allow water to soak into the ground in areas where there isn't vegetation.
  • Aerate the soil and use organic material, like compost, as well as perforated drainage lines to reduce areas of water pooling in your landscaping.
  • Consider using trees, rain gardens, terrace walls, swales (long, shallow, grassy depressions), or other features to hold water on the landscaped area. This will allow time for the water to soak into the ground instead of running off into our surface waterbodies.
  • Make sure irrigation equipment is working properly by regularly inspecting it. Also, consider installing a “smart" irrigation controller to reduce overwatering.

Visit these websites to learn more about how landscaping and irrigation management can be used to minimize soil and chemical runoff from lawns and gardens:

Using Pesticides and Fertilizers in Your Garden
General Pesticides and Gardening

The State of California has regulations in place to protect water quality in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds. The regulations focus on managing pesticide use to prevent harm to aquatic life in our streams and rivers. Such aquatic organisms include fish, reptiles, amphibians, crayfish, mussels, mollusts, and crustaceans.

Any chemicals used in our yard and gardens can be washed off directly into streams and rivers. It is best to use less toxic pesticides or other means of controlling unwanted pests, rather than harmful pesticides.

Image 1. Stream

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Click here for more information about how pesticides are affecting water quality and how pesticides get into our streams and rivers.

As part of this effort, this website provides information about pesticides, less toxic alternatives to control pests, and integrated pest management for residents and businesses. Small changes made around your home or business—something as simple as not spraying a pesticide on a windy day or addressing a pest issue without using pesticides—can make a big difference in our local water quality.

Look for the TAKE ACTION! items to see how you can make a difference.

General Pesticide Information

pexels-antoni-shkraba-7342592.jpgPesticides and herbicides are used to control unwanted bugs and plants (“pests") such as insects (ants, wasps), rodents (mice, rats), weeds, or other unwanted organisms. Although efficient, even when used correctly, these chemicals can cause harm to human health or have negative consequences within the environment. It is important to consider less toxic or other alternatives and always follow label instructions when pesticide applications are needed.

TAKE ACTION! Read the label of the pesticide you are thinking about purchasing and select the pesticide carefully. Ensure that it is appropriate for the pest and determine where you will use it. Click here for pesticide safety tips and what to look for on the label  or here for common questions and answers about pesticide labels.

In California, pesticides are regulated by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) as well as by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). To learn more about why pesticides can be harmful and how they are regulated, visit the following websites:

Image 2. Pesticide Bottle

Pyrethroid Pesticides in Waterways

Although there are many different types of pesticides, one group of pesticides called pyrethroids is of particular concern because they are being found in our local waterways. Pyrethroid pesticides are primarily used for ants, cockroaches, and other insects. However, it takes them a long time to break down into less harmful components once they're in the environment, which means that they can cause unintended harm to many other types of beneficial insects (e.g., bees, ladybugs) and aquatic life.

Image 3. Pesticide Label -  Source: Internal Origination

insect repellent.png TAKE ACTION! Products that contain pyrethroids typically have active ingredients that end with the letters “-thrin." When reading the pesticide label, look to see if any of the active ingredients include the following:

  • Permethrin
  • Bifenthrin
  • Cyfluthrin
  • Beta-cyfluthrin
  • Cypermethrin
  • Deltamethrin
  • Lambda-cyhalothrin
  • Tralomethrin
  • Esfenvalerate (an exception to the “-thrin" rule)

If a pyrethroid is an active ingredient, consider other ways that you might address the pest, such as other less toxic pesticides or controls that do not require the use of a pesticide.

To learn more, visit Our Water – Our World: Pesticides and Water Quality.


“Point-of-purchase" or “point-of-sale" campaigns are focused efforts to educate and raise awareness among both retailers and consumers so that they can make informed decisions about what types of products are available for sale (retailers) and what products are most effective, least harmful, and ultimately purchased (consumers). Point-of-purchase displays often include materials such as shelf edging or tags and display stands with fact sheets, banners, and other educational materials Our Water – Our World (OWOW) is an example of an established point-of-purchase program that is implemented in retail stores that sell pest control products in northern California.

TAKE ACTION! Next time you visit your local gardening and home supply retailer, look for displays and educational materials about pesticides and which controls are best for each type of pest that you may encounter.

  Look for BLUE LABEL shown below:

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Insects and Pesticides

Unwanted insects in your lawn, garden, or home can be a source of frustration and damage the plants that you are trying to grow and maintain. Some pests can also potentially transmit disease. In order to effectively prevent or remove these pests, it is important to understand what is attracting them, how they are entering the home or garden, and what control is best for that specific pest. Approaching pests in this manner will save money, have a longer-lasting effect on the pest, and protect the environment.

TAKE ACTION! The next time you need to address a pest in your home or garden, follow the steps below.

1.      Identify if the Bug is Good or Bad

Check if the bug you are seeing is a beneficial insect that eats the “bad" bugs and pollinates your plants. Click here for the 10 Most Wanted Bugs in Your Garden [Note – this links to a .pdf] or here to identify typical beneficial insects.

2.      Identify What Controls are Best for Your Pest

The OWOW partnership and the UC Integrated Pest Management Program have detailed information that can help you determine the best method to control your pest.

3.      Consider No or Less Toxic Alternatives

First, try control pests with less toxic methods, such as traps, mulch, insecticidal soap, or beneficial insects like ladybugs. To learn more about less toxic pest management methods and products, visit the OWOW partnership or University of California.

4.      If You Must Use Pesticides – Follow These Best Practices

  • Read labels and apply pesticides using recommended amounts and application methods.
  • Use the least amount of chemical needed. Remember, more is not always better.
  • Avoid application when it is windy or before it rains.
  • Don't overwater the area immediately after pesticide application. Excess water will carry the chemicals straight to the storm drain system and then to the local streams and rivers.
  • Take care not to spill the product, and don't rinse spills into the street. If a spill occurs, absorb it with sawdust or kitty litter, sweep the absorbent material into a paper bag, and take absorbent material to your local hazardous waste collection facility. You may also contact your County Agricultural Commissioner or the County Office of Environmental Health to ask how to dispose of the bagged absorbent material.

    Additional best practices can be found here.

Tips for Applying Fertilizers to Reduce Stormwater Pollution

While the use of fertilizer can keep our lawns and garden plants happy and healthy, excess fertilizer can be carried in water runoff to storm drains and pollute our water bodies. Excess fertilizer use can also damage our plants, encourage excessive growth, and increase the plant's water needs. Therefore, it's important to understand the nutrient content of your fertilizer and only apply the amount needed by your specific lawn or garden plants.

When applying fertilizer, always read labels and apply the fertilizer using recommended amounts and application methods. Using slow-release fertilizers can help prevent runoff of excess fertilizer, as can avoiding overwatering the area after application.

Learn more about fertilizing an established lawn by clicking

Check out these helpful tips for fertilizing other plants, including trees, shrubs, and flowering plants found here:

Disposing of Pesticides

Residents may only dispose of empty pesticide containers in the trash without rinsing them. Any leftover pesticides must be taken to your local household hazardous waste (HHW) facility.


Hiring Pest Control and Landscape Professionals

When dealing with unwanted pests around your home or business, you may want to hire a pest control service to take care of the problem for you. Pest control professionals have access to different products, specialized training, and other equipment that may be needed in order to manage a serious infestation or problem.

Pest management professionals can learn more about integrated pest management approaches and available training by visiting the UC IPM Program for structural pest management or landscape pest management.

TAKE ACTION! By following these steps, you can support pest control companies that understand and implement integrated pest management and less toxic approaches.

1.     Do some research about the pest you have and how it can be controlled.

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2.      Ensure the pest control operator has a license issued by the California State Structural Pest Control Board and any other registrations, certifications, or insurance required. To verify the license for a pest control operator, visit the Department for Consumer Affairs.

3.      Hire a pest control operator who is certified as using integrated pest management practices, applies effective non-chemical strategies first, and knows how to effectively manage pests. Some questions that you can ask and things to consider can be found here and here. Several certification groups can also be helpful in finding a pest control company:

Landscape Design and Irrigation Management to Prevent Pesticide Runoff

Proper design and management of the landscaping around our homes and businesses can help prevent pesticide runoff from these areas into local waterbodies. Some ways to reduce your landscaping irrigation needs and keep irrigation water onsite can be found here and here. Discover county-specific tips by using the UC Seasonal Landscape IPM Checklist.

Image 8.JPGTAKE ACTION! Slow the flow by following the University of California's Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program recommendations for pesticide-smart landscape design:

  • Help water soak into the ground.
    • Use stones, pavers, gravel, mulch, or other materials that allow water to soak into the ground in areas where you don't have plants.
    • Aerate your soil and use organic material, like compost, as well as perforated drainage lines, to reduce areas of water pooling in your landscaping.
  • Create landscape features to collect runoff water.
    • Consider using trees, rain gardens, terrace walls, rain barrels, or swales (long, shallow, grassy depressions) to hold water within the landscaped area and allow it to soak into the ground rather than draining directly to our surface waterbodies.
    • Consider using river-friendly gardening approaches such as selecting appropriate plants, minimizing the use of chemical pesticides, and creating "hydrozones" by grouping plants according to water needs. Learn more about how to make your yard river-friendly on the Lodi Watershed Friendly Landscaping website or by following these River-Friendly Landscape Guidelines.
  • Install and properly operate irrigation systems and equipment.
    • Make sure your irrigation equipment is working properly by regularly inspecting it and consider installing a “smart" irrigation controller to reduce overwatering.

Make Car Washing River Friendly

Chemicals and cleaners from washing vehicles can pollute stormwater as they flow through the storm drain system. Commercial car washes are the best places to wash your vehicle since they collect, treat, and properly dispose of the wash water.

If you need to wash your vehicle at home:

Make sure the wash water flows to a lawn, garden, or gravel area and does not enter the street or nearby storm drains.

Minimize the use of soaps and chemicals and consider biodegradable alternatives.

Reduce water use by using a bucket and sponge or a hose with a trigger nozzle.

For organized/charity car washing events:

  • Consider fundraising by selling commercial car wash coupons instead of hosting a car wash.
  • If you host a car wash, make sure the wash water flows to a lawn, garden, or gravel area and does not enter the street or nearby storm drains.
  • Use sandbags or berms to divert water to a vegetated or gravel area, or seal off nearby storm drains using an insert designed to catch the wash water.



Mobile Businesses

These businesses include automotive washing and detailing services, carpet/drapery cleaners, street sweepers, pressure washers, general contractors, and other service providers. If you contract these services, ask your service provider to follow these practices:

  • Make sure that wash water, debris, chemicals, and cleaners are properly disposed. Wash water collected and transported from the job site to the service provider's home base must be disposed of properly. Check with the local wastewater authority for discharge requirements.
  • Use a lint trap or filter when discharging to the sanitary sewer. Dispose of the solids in the trash if it is not hazardous waste.
  • Never discharge wash water to a street, gutter, parking lot, ditch, creek, or storm drain.
  • Promptly clean up any spills using dry methods, such as vacuuming, sweeping, sawdust/kitty litter, and rags/paper towels.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure it does not leak. Make sure chemical containers are sealed before and after use and during transportation.


Construction Sites

For information about construction site best management practices, visit:


Post Construction Manual

In 2015, the City of Manteca collaborated with other Central Valley municipalities to prepare a Multi-Agency Post-Construction Stormwater Standards Manual to assist the development community in complying with the stormwater quality requirements for regulated new development and redevelopment projects. This Manual is available here:


Link to the “Multi-Agency Post-Construction Stormwater Standards Manual":

Information for Stormwater / Engineering

Stormwater System

Storm Drain Master Plan


Stormwater Resources for Educators

Find ideas for stormwater-related lessons, activities, and videos by clicking the resources below!