The city's stormwater system includes gutters, inlets, pipes, channels, ditches, and other waterways that all lead to outfall points into local lakes and ponds as well as Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Anything that is spilled, dumped, washed, or otherwise enters into the storm drain flows directly to these receiving bodies of water without any type of treatment. Therefore, it is very important to keep any pollutants out of the storm drain system.
The city has mapped the storm drainage system within its urbanized core to show inlets, pipes, and outfalls to aid in understanding where the system flows.
In January 2012, the city passed an ordinance that specifically prohibits the dumping, washing, or otherwise discharging of any pollutant to the storm drainage system.
Typical practices that this ordinance prohibits include:
Dumping of food wastes into storm drains.
Dumping of yard waste, including blowing grass clippings into the storm drains.
Non-residential power washing / parking lot washing (unless the wash water is collected and not discharged).
In addition, there are penalties for violations of the ordinance that could be applied to the person committing the violation as well as the owner of the facility or property where the violation occurred.
One of the ways citizens can get involved is to report illegal dumping or other suspicious activities to the Compliance Division of the Planning and Community Development Department. This can be done either by calling 409-797-3660, or filling out the online form.