Stormwater and Water Quality Protection

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The Stormwater and Water Quality Protection Program prevents, controls, and eliminates pollutants from entering the storm drain system. Because the storm drain system directs runoff to local creeks and not a treatment plant, runoff can carry pollutants and adversely affect local waterbodies. Stormwater runoff can collect a variety of pollutants, including trash, dirt, pet waste (bacteria), pesticides, and fertilizer. Irrigation runoff and power washing of surfaces can also collect and carry these pollutants when it is not raining.   

To comply with federal Clean Water Act regulations and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents and the environment, the City of Vista's Stormwater and Water Quality Protection Program oversees different activities that help prevent and reduce stormwater pollution. Some program activities include the following:

  • Inspection of businesses for compliance with pollution prevention requirements
  • Prevention, detection, response, and enforcement of illegal discharges and spills
  • Development plan review for compliance with pollution prevention and stormwater management
  • Construction site erosion and sediment control inspections
  • Public education and special events to encourage residential participation
  • Monitoring and sampling of stormwater discharges

These activities are discussed in watershed and jurisdictional plans. Vista Municipal Code, Ch. 13.18 Stormwater Management and Discharge Control Program presents the prohibitions and authorities associated with these activities.

Report Stormwater Pollution  

City staff actively investigate reports of stormwater pollution. Pollutants such as trash, irrigation runoff, illegal dumping, and sediment/mud are prohibited from entering the storm drain system. Residents and businesses in Vista are encouraged to report incidents of stormwater pollution through the City of Vista’s online reporting tool.

The following alternatives are also available for reporting stormwater pollution:

Online Resources

Additional Resources

Additional Resources below provide residents and businesses with resources for preventing stormwater pollution.

  • Pollution Prevention
    All residents and businesses in Vista are required to implement stormwater pollution prevention Best Management Practices. Fact sheets and resources for pollution prevention and stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) are provided on the City of Vista’s Online Resources webpage.
  • Land Development Requirements
    Stormwater requirements for development projects, including the City of Vista’s BMP Design Manual, project checklists, and template forms are provided on the Land Development Division Resources webpage.
  • Water Conservation and Drought
    Vista Irrigation District provides drinking water to Vista residents. Information about water conservation and drought can be found on the VID District website. 
  • Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG)
    Requirements for the management of fats, oils, and grease, are described in Vista Municipal Code, Ch. 14.12 Control and Regulation of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG).
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) Data
    The City's Geographic Information System (GIS) webpage facilitates public access to the City’s spatial data - providing an interactive map viewing tool and the ability to download various data products. GIS files used to develop maps presented in the City of Vista JRMP are available for download at the links provided below. The files provided are only for the user’s convenience and no warranty is made as to the accuracy of these data.  

If you observe something being dumped into the storm drain or street, or observe water running in the street when it is not raining, please report this to the Water Quality hotline: 760.643.2804 or use the online Report a Problem form, or by email:


Stormwater & Water Quality Protection Program Hotline
P: 760.643.2804

Jon Nottage, Stormwater Program Manager
P: 760.643.5425


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