Stormwater Management

Do you know...? Today, storm water runoff remains the Nation's largest source of water quality problems and is one of the leading reasons that approximately 45 percent of assessed stream miles were identified by the U.S. EPA as impaired and not supporting one or more of their designated uses (i.e. fishing, swimming, etc) (2002). Locally, urban runoff and agricultural activities are thought to be the source of water quality impairments within the San Benito River. It's important in your daily activities to BE PART OF THE SOLUTION TO PREVENT STORM WATER POLLUTION.

Stormwater Management Plan
Click on the links below for information and documentation regarding the Storm Water Management Plan and reports. Documents may take some time to download depending on internet access speed.

ILLEGAL DUMPING INTO STORM DRAINS IS A CRIME

Please help protect our water supplies. Prevent; trash, oil, fertilizers and other chemicals from polluting City storm drains. To report illegal dumping activity that is in progress please call 911 and the Hollister Police Department will be notified immediately. If you have seen illegal dumping activities into storm drains and wish to remain anonymous, you may call the WeTIP Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME.

City of Hollister Storm Drain Master Plan (PDF File 16MB)
Central Coast Region 3 - Post Construction Requirements (PDF File 401KB)
Hollister MS4 Guidance Document (PDF File 2MB)
California Phase II MS4 Permit (PDF File 1MB)
City of Hollister Program and Effectiveness Assessment and Improvement Plan (PDF File 1MB)
City of Hollister Illicit Discharge and Detection Elimination Program (PDF File 5MB)

Information Links:
Stormwater Management Guide: Pet Waste
Stormwater Management Guide: Pest Control
Stormwater Management Guide: Landscaping
San Benito County Environmental Health
US Environmental Protection Agency
US Environmental Protection Agency Information for Kids

Commercial Info: Practical Guide to Preventing Storm Water Pollution

What is Storm Water?
Storm water is a term used to describe water that originates during precipitation (rain or snow) events. Storm water that does not soak into the ground becomes surface runoff, which either flows into surface waterways or is channeled into storm drains.

What is Storm Water Pollution?
Storm water pollution occurs when storm water runoff comes in contact with contaminants before reaching the San Benito River, Santa Ana Creek or Pacific Ocean. Contaminants can be automotive fluids, sediment, detergents, animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals, trash, oils, food processing waste, and many more substances.

What is a Storm Drain System?
The City's storm drain system is designed to route untreated runoff from impervious surfaces including roofs, parking lots, roads, sidewalks, and other hardened surfaces to the San Benito River, Santa Ana Creek, and eventually to the Pacific Ocean. The system is supplied by storm drains that can be seen on City roads, parking lots, and highways. The City's storm drain system is also made up of numerous basins which receive untreated runoff and help to control flooding within the City. These basins not only prevent flooding but they also promote the recharge of underlying aquifers.

What is a Sewer System?
From plumbing fixtures and appliances, from homes and businesses such as toilets, showers and bath tubs, clothes washers, dish washers, and garbage disposals. Domestic wastewater is discharged from plumbing fixtures and appliances and then flows into the domestic wastewater sewer. The domestic wastewater sewer system is made up of many sewer lines extending from individual lots of land. The line from each lot connects to the sewer line. The city maintains sewer lines located under public streets or alleys that connect to a "trunk sewer". The main trunks of the sewer end at the City of Hollister Water Reclamation Plant. All water entering the treatment plant is treated so that approximately 90 percent of the impurities are removed. The rest of the impurities are removed when the treated water is returned back to the groundwater basin through percolation.

City of Hollister Storm Water Management Program Goals
The City of Hollister proactively pursues the protection of its valuable watershed and water resources used for drinking, fishing, swimming, and wildlife habitat.
The City of Hollister is committed to the implementation of the following clean water goals:
Educate the community through television, printed material, and special events about ways they can help protect local water resources.
Coordinate and promote public participation within the community that emphasizes storm water pollution prevention concepts.
Manage and enforce an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program.
Implement a program to oversee construction activities within City limits to control erosion and sedimentation and the discharge of construction wastes.
Reform it s new and redevelopment project planning and development process to minimize long-term post-construction impacts to water resources. Promote practices that use or mimic natural processes to infiltrate, evaporate, and/or harvest and reuse rain water near where it falls to earth.
Enhance operations and maintenance techniques utilized by the City during regular municipal activities, and broaden storm water pollution prevention training.

City of Hollister Storm Water Management Program Components
The City of Hollister Storm Water Management Program is comprised of six components:

  • Public Education and Outreach
    Public Involvement and Participation
    Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
    Construction Runoff Control
    Post-Construction Runoff Control
    Good Housekeeping

Public Education and Outreach
The first of the six components described in the City of Hollister Storm Water Management Program is Public Education and Outreach. The City plans to educate the public about the importance of protecting storm water quality for the benefit of the environment and human health and to ensure greater public awareness and compliance for the storm water management program.

  • Public education and outreach methods will include:
  • Prepare public education and outreach brochures
  • Develop a City of Hollister storm water website
  • Host, attend, and promote storm water pollution prevention at local events
  • Facilitate a City Storm Water Hotline
  • Conduct media campaigns
  • Conduct business education and outreach
  • Install storm water pollution prevention signage at City park/recreational facilities
  • Conduct storm drain labeling

Public Involvement and Participation
The City plans to raise public awareness about urban runoff pollution through public involvement and participation in the City's Storm Water Management Program.

  • Public involvement and participation programs will include:
  • Attend public meetings and address storm water pollution prevention
  • Conduct watershed stakeholder coordination
  • A volunteer drainage cleaning program known as "River Clean-up Day"

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination An illicit discharge is defined as "a point source discharge of pollutants to a MS4 which is not composed entirely of storm water and not authorized by an NPDES permit". Discharge sources must be controlled and illegal behavior prohibited. The City plans to prevent the discharge of pollutants to receiving waters by eliminating illicit discharges to the City's storm water conveyance system. Additionally, the City intends to gain a thorough awareness of the storm drain system ultimately providing better opportunity for determining the types and sources of illicit discharges entering the MS4. Illicit discharge detection and elimination steps will include:

  • Identify and manage non-storm water discharges
  • Complete an update to its storm drain system map
  • Inspect all storm drain outfalls on an annual basis
  • Storm water sampling and analysis of "first flush" events
  • Conduct illicit discharge/connection investigation and abatement
  • Conduct business and industry inspections for storm water pollution
  • Conduct public education and outreach

Construction Runoff Control
The City plans to prevent soil and construction materials and wastes from leaving the site and entering the storm water drainage system, while maintaining a positive working relationship with the development community. Construction runoff control best management practices will include:

  • Revise City Grading and Drainage Plan Standards to include additional requirements for soil and construction waste and material handling
  • Revise the City's process of site plan reviews to account for proper management of construction storm water runoff
  • Conduct construction site inspections
  • Enforce project conditions of approval and construction site storm water violations

Post-Construction Runoff Control
The City will reduce post-construction storm water pollution through better project planning and site design. Post-construction runoff control best management practices will include:

  • Implement a detailed permit review process
  • Track innovative storm water design projects
  • Adhere to the General Permit Attachment 4 design standards
  • Adopt a Post-Construction Storm Water Ordinance
  • Prepare and implement a Hydromodification Management Plan

Good Housekeeping
The City will ensure that delivery of public services occurs in a manner protective of water quality. In this way the City will serve as a model to the community.

  • Good housekeeping best management practices will include:
  • Improve storm water pollution prevention techniques associated with municipal operations and maintenance
  • Provide storm water pollution prevention training to City staff
  • Participate in the operation of a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program
  • Reduce pesticide use

Storm Water Management - How Can Residents Help?

Tips for Residents
Discharges from individual residences within Hollister may contribute to water pollution. Residents can help by following these Good Housekeeping best management practices (BMPs), making Hollister a much cleaner place to live and work.

Lawn and Garden

  • Don't overwater your lawn. Water during the cool times of the day and don't let excess water run off into a storm drain.
  • Apply lawn and garden chemicals sparingly and according to directions. Avoid using chemicals before it rains to prevent them from being washed into the storm drain system.
  • Reduce the use of fertilizers. Try making your own compost or using slow release organic fertilizers instead.
  • Cover piles of dirt and mulch to prevent these pollutants from blowing or washing off your yard into a water body.
  • Select native plants and grasses that are drought and pest resistant. Native plants require less water and fertilizer.
  • Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces and onto lawns and other vegetated areas to increase infiltration and reduce polluted runoff.
  • Control soil erosion on your property by planting ground cover and stabilizing erosion-prone areas.
  • Eliminate toxic pesticides or use less toxic alternatives for a healthy home and garden. See the Our Water Our World Program website for more information.

Vehicle and Garage

  • Properly dispose of hazardous materials such as paints and paint thinners, pesticides, used oil and anti freeze, fuel additives, starter fluids, and solvents at the San Benito County Integrated Waste Management Recycling & Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program located at the John Smith Road Landfill, 2650 John Smith Road, Hollister California 95023.
  • Regularly maintain your car, boat, motorcycle, and other machinery and equipment to prevent fluid leaks.
  • Sweep up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease, antifreeze, and other fluids with and absorbent material like kitty liter or sand. Do not hose them into the street where they can eventually reach local streams and lakes.
  • Wash your car at a commercial/coin-operated car wash that recycles wash water or wash your car on your lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty, soapy water flowing into the storm drain.

If washing your car at home

  • Use a bucket and biodegradable soap
  • Use as little soap and water as possible
  • Look for products that don t contain nonylphenol surfactants, which act as endocrine disrupters and change the sex of fish, and phosphates, which contribute to algal blooms and low oxygen levels in waterways
  • Use a trigger spray nozzle to control water flow from the hose and reduce water use
  • Wash the car on a grassy area or other porous surface where soil microbes and vegetation can filter and break down pollutants and keep wash water out of the street and storm drains
  • Direct wash water into a landscaped area or vacuum it up with a shopvac rather than allowing it to run into the street
  • When you are done, dump your bucket of soapy water into a sink, drain, or toilet that goes to the City's wastewater treatment plant

Home Repair and Improvement

  • Before beginning an outdoor project, be aware of the nearest storm drains and protect them from loose debris and other material.
  • Sweep-up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar.
  • Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents, and cleaners in the smallest amounts possible and follow manufacturer directions. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of the waste safely.
  • Store substances properly to avoid leaks and spills.
  • Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled, and recyclable products whenever possible.
  • Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Filter and reuse paint thinner when using oil-based paints. Properly dispose of excess paints for free at the San Benito County Integrated Waste Management Recycling & Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program located at the John Smith Road Landfill, 2650 John Smith Road, Hollister California 95023.

Storm Water Management - How Can Businesses Help?

Tips for Businesses
Discharges from businesses within Hollister may contribute to water pollution. By following these Good Housekeeping best management practices (BMPs), Hollister and surrounding communities can be a much cleaner and better place to live and work.

California Storm Water Quality Association Best Management Practice Handbooks for New Development and Redevelopment, Construction, Industrial and Commercial, and Municipal Operations. California Storm Water Quality Association Industrial and Commercial Business Guide Sheets. Pollution Prevention Fact Sheet for Mobile Car Washing and Outdoor Surface Pressure Washing. Pollution Prevention Fact Sheet for Swimming Pools, Ponds, and Hot Tubs.

Managing Fats, Oil, and Grease

  • Wipe cookware and work areas prior to washing. DO NOT pour cooking oils, fats, and grease directly into the storm drain.
  • Dispose of food waste directly into the trash. Minimize use of the garbage disposal.
  • Collect waste cooking oil and grease and store for recycling. DO NOT pour waste cooking oil, fats, or grease directly into a storm drain or onto a parking lot or street.
  • Clean floor mats indoors and over a utility sink. Do not wash floor mats outside where water will runoff directly into the storm drain.

Landscape Areas

  • Save $$$$ and minimize over irrigation of your lawn. Irrigate during the cooler times of the day and avoid discharging irrigation water into a storm drain.
  • Apply lawn and garden chemicals sparingly and according to directions. To prevent chemicals from being washed into a storm drain DO NOT apply chemicals to landscaping when moderate to heavy rain is forecasted.
  • Reduce the use of fertilizers. Try making your own compost or using slow release organic fertilizers instead.
  • Cover piles of dirt and mulch to prevent these pollutants from blowing or washing off your landscaping and into a storm drain or waterbody.
  • Select native plants and grasses that are drought and pest resistant. Native plants require less water and fertilizer.
  • Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces and onto lawns and other vegetated areas to save $$$$ on irrigation, increase infiltration, and reduce polluted runoff.
  • Control soil erosion on your property by planting ground cover and stabilizing erosion-prone areas.
  • Eliminate toxic pesticides or use less toxic alternatives for a healthy home and garden. See the Our Water Our World Program website for more information.

Machinery and Maintenance

  • Properly dispose of hazardous materials and wastes such as paints and paint thinners, pesticides, oil and fuel additives, starter fluids, and solvents at the San Benito County Integrated Waste Management Recycling & Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program located at the John Smith Road Landfill, 2650 John Smith Road, Hollister California 95023.
  • Clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease, antifreeze, and other fluids with dry absorbent material like kitty litter or sand. DO NOT hose them into the street or a storm drain.
  • Sweep a parking lot or sidewalk rather than pressure washing or hosing them.
  • NEVER pour mop water into the street.
  • DO NOT pour motor oil into storm drains.

Outdoor Washing Activities

  • Before beginning an outdoor project, be aware of the nearest storm drains and protect them from loose debris and other material.
  • Sweep-up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar.
  • Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents, and cleaners in the smallest amounts possible and follow manufacturer directions. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of the waste safely.
  • Store substances properly to avoid leaks and spills.
  • Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled, and recyclable products whenever possible.
  • Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Filter and reuse paint thinner when using oil-based paints. Properly dispose of excess paints and thinners for free at the San Benito County Integrated Waste Management Recycling & Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program located at the John Smith Road Landfill, 2650 John Smith Road, Hollister California 95023.

Trash, Waste, and Debris

  • Make sure trash cans and dumpsters are covered and emptied regularly.
  • Maintain clean and debris free ditches, street gutters, and storm drains. Not only will this reduce storm water pollution but it will prevent flooding.
  • Pet waste can contain disease causing bacteria and parasites that can make people and other animals sick. Pick-up pet waste and dispose of the waste and used kitty litter in the trash. Do NOT dispose of kitty litter in the toilet.

Cleaning Supplies

  • Purchase detergents and cleaners that are low in phosphorous.
  • Use less toxic products and dispose of any excess at the San Benito County Integrated Waste Management Recycling & Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program located at the John Smith Road Landfill, 2650 John Smith Road, Hollister California 95023.

Spill Prevention, Control, and Clean Up

  • Never store or handle chemicals adjacent to a storm drain or waterway.
  • In the event of a spill, first attempt to contain it and prevent it from spreading, then clean-up the spill.
  • Use dry absorbents and clean-up methods for spills (e.g., sawdust, kitty litter, rags, mops, and buckets). Do not rinse or hose spills into a storm drain or to a street or parking lot. Properly dispose absorbent material in the trash.

Storm Water Management - Contact Us and Community Reporting

Contact Us
City of Hollister citizens are encouraged to contact City staff regarding any questions, concerns, or comments they may have regarding the City's storm management program.

Engineering Department
420 Hill Street, Building C
Hollister, CA 95023
(831) 636-4340

Storm Water Hotline
(800) 78-CRIME

Community Reporting

ILLEGAL DUMPING INTO STORM DRAINS IS A CRIME

The City of Hollister needs your help protecting our water resources from illicit discharge activities. Use the Storm Water Hotline to confidentially alert the City of Hollister of illegal or unacceptable actions, including illicit discharges from fellow community members and businesses. Common warning signs of illicit discharges are the presence of dry weather flow (e.g., runoff of water flowing down curbs or drains), suds, sewage, oil and gas and other non-storm water related contaminants within or discharging to the City's storm water conveyance system.

To report illegal dumping activity that is in progress please call 9-1-1 and the Hollister Police Department will be notified immediately. If you have seen illegal dumping activities into storm drains and wish to remain anonymous, you may call the WeTIP Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME. Please help protect our water supplies. Prevent; trash, oil, fertilizers and other chemicals from polluting City storm drains. Thanks for Being Part of the Solution to Prevent Storm Water Pollution and helping the City of Hollister protect local water resources.

Have any suggestions or Comments on Hollister's Storm Water Management Plan? Please complete our Storm Water Plan Suggestion / Comment Form and send us your suggestions/comments.