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Why Storm Water Matters


Storm water is a crucial resource because it flows to and fills our rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes, and San Francisco Bay. Surface water provides recreation uses for our families and our communities. Surface water also provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including endangered fish, bird, and amphibian species. These surface waters receive storm water from our developed areas. Unlike the sanitary sewer system, storm water doesn’t go through a treatment plant so pollutants may not be removed before reaching San Francisco Bay.

Common sources of storm water pollution and pollution solutions are listed below:

  • Mercury from broken florescent lamps, old batteries and thermometers (Solution: take these items to authorized drop-off facilities)
  • Leaking oil, antifreeze and gasoline from cars (Solution: regular maintenance, use drip pans as necessary)
  • Motor oil from oil changes on cars, lawn mowers, small equipment (Solution: take used oil to a nearby car maintenance business for disposal)
  • Soaps and other chemicals (Solution: wash cars at commercial car washes)
  • Copper dust from auto brake pads stuck to the car (Solution: wash cars at commercial car washes where the dust is captured, drive less by taking public transit)
  • Rubber tire dust from auto tires (Solution: drive less by taking public transit)
  • Leaves and lawn clippings (Solution: bundle clippings and put them in an appropriate waste bin)
  • Pet waste (Solution: collect and dispose of pet waste in an appropriate waste bin)

Tell us what you’ve learned about storm water.

Take our Short Survey

If you‘d like to report a storm water issue on the Caltrain system, please call Customer Service at 1.800.660.4287.

7/2/19 - rjc/ih/dn