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Environmental Regulations

In close coordination with all teams in Public Works and other departments, the Environmental Regulations Office develops and coordinates the implementation of existing and new water quality regulatory programs, citywide, regionally, and with various sectors of our community to protect natural water quality of streams, lakes, and the Monterey Bay. The City also participates in statewide municipal review of draft new regulations proposed for State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) approval that may affect the City and region.

Water quality regulations implemented by this Office are derived from the federal Clean Water Act and the California Porter Cologne Act, which protect Waters of the U.S. (surface water drainages) and Waters of the State (surface- and ground-waters), respectively. Each year, new regulations are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and SWRCB, and its nine (9) Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs). In response, the City must subsequently develop new regulatory Ordinances and programs locally to ensure local compliance with these laws, typically relating to the City's storm drainage collection system and sanitary sewer collections system.

To report sanitary sewer spills and illegal dumping to the street, waterways, or the storm drain system, please call one of the following:

  • (831) 646-3921 (during business hours)
  • (831) 646-3914 (during after hours)
  • 911 (county-wide, anytime)
Dumping any pollutants or trash into the gutter, catch basin or the storm drain system is ILLEGAL. Please report sanitary sewer spills and any dumping to the City. Local ordinances limit storm water flows to clean rain water and non-polluted incidental flows like groundwater. Please do your part to protect local waterways!

Public Reports of City Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) may be found in the SWRCB California Integrated Water Quality System Project (CIWQS) database, available here:

MCHD-Beach-AlertsFor the latest information about beach postings or closures based on the most recent bacteriological test information, view the Monterey County website or call the Beach Condition Hotline (831) 755-4599.

Do not swim in or have contact with water coming from storm drains. Such water may be contaminated with bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or chemicals, and contact with storm drain water may cause illness. Do not enter water after rainstorms as bacterial levels increase with the increased runoff into the bay.

Beaches are sampled Monthly from November to April, then weekly between April 1 and October 31 of each calendar year.