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VTA Stormwater Management Program

Picture shows how trash gets into creeks

Illicit discharges occur when excessive water from irrigation, car washing and other sources carries litter, pesticides, oil, pet waste, and other pollutants directly into the storm drain system.  Unlike water that enters the sanitary system, such as from a kitchen sink, water flowing to storm drains is not treated.

The storm drain system is a major source of pollution in San Francisco Bay, posing a threat to wildlife and water quality, due to pollutants that mix with clean rain water.  

VTA is committed to protecting local creeks and rivers, and in turn the San Francisco Bay to which they flow, by preventing pollution from stormwater runoff.  ​

II.  Report Illicit Discharge - Only Rain Down the Drain!

If you observe trash or debris on the ground, or illegal dumping, at a VTA transit facility immediately call (408) 321-2300, hearing impaired only (408) 321-2330. Or e-mail  Another option is to download and use the VTAlerts app, available on android and iOS devices.  

Here are some ways you can work to keep stormdrains clear of trash and pollutants:

  • Keep garbage and recycling cans tightly covered to prevent litter from being blown away or scattered by foraging animals.  
  • Proper disposal of cigarette butts in an appropriate trash receptacle.  Never throw them out of your vehicle because of litter and potential fire hazard.  
  • Use reusable grocery bags.  
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean up outside. Sweep dirt into landscaping to prevent it from entering storm drains.
  • Participate in clean-ups.  

Landscaping and Garden Maintenance

Leaves, lawn clippings, soil from construction or landscaping activities and poor irrigation practices can clog storm drains and introduce pesticides or other pollutants into our waterways. VTA is keeping irrigation water on plants, in the ground, and out of the storm drains by using ​Bioretention Gardens at future BART stations.

Car Washing and Vehicle Maintenance tips.

Have You Seen These Medallions on VTA's Drains?

VTA has installed these No Dumping- Flows to Bay medallions at VTA drain inlets to remind riders that only rain can go down the drains.
With the rainy season comes stormwater runoff- the rain that flows over land and other surfaces and does not soak into the ground.
This runoff then enters storm drain systems and goes directly into local streams and ultimately the Bay.
Often, this runoff carries litter and pollutants with it through its path from streets and gutters out to the Bay.

III.  Pesticides and Water Pollution

Did you know that more than half of California pesticide use is in urban areas - and applied by residents, home gardeners and pest control professionals in and around schools, businesses and homes? To control pests in and around your home, consider managing them naturally by attracting beneficial insects which feed on pests. Remember that when you apply pesticides, you are treating the symptom, rather than the cause of the problem. Physical barriers (soaps and oils) and good housekeeping are always preferable to chemical pesticides. However, in situations where a pesticide is necessary, consider less-toxic products. Using less-toxic products is safer for your family and pets, for beneficial insects and birds, and for our waterways.

 Download these tips to reduce stormwater pollution.

Tips to reduce stormwater pollution Image of Stormwater tips in Spanish Image of Stormwater tips in Vietnamese

VTA’s Adopt-A-Stop Program
VTA welcomes individuals, families, companies, civic groups, schools, church groups, and youth groups interested in becoming part of the Adopt-A-Stop program. Adopt-A-Stop volunteers agree to keep their designated bus stop clean. This involves keeping the bus stop area free of debris and clutter. 

Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway Program 
The Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway Program provides for individuals, organizations, or businesses to help maintain sections of roadside within California's State Highway System. 

San Francisco Bay Region Municipal Regional Stormwater NPDES Permit

Phase II Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program

Watershed Watch

Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program

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