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Environmental Health Division
Environmental Health Division

Stormwater Inspection Program

Storm DrainAs mandated by State requirements, the City of Berkeley, along with the County of Alameda are required to implement a stormwater compliance programs as of July 1, 2005.

By enforcing restaurants and food facility operators to comply with stormwater program requirements and follow BMPs (Best Management Practices), the program protects the local creeks, and the San Francisco Bay by ensuring that pollutants are kept out our storm drain.

Detergents, cleansers, food waste grease, oil, liquids from dumpsters, mop water, and pressure washer effluent are sometimes allowed to run out on sidewalks, gutters, and the street. When these pollutants enter the storm drainage system, they flow untreated to our creeks and the Bay. These discharges cause harm to aquatic life, degrade the quality of local waters and the environment. In addition, rodent, fly, and cockroaches populations increase due to accumulations of food, grease, and debris in storm drain catch basins.


As of July 1, 2006, an Environmental Health Specialist (Health Inspector) will be conducting a Stormwater Compliance Inspection, once every three years.

The following are typical areas of concern:




Lids must be closed when not in use and waste containers should be leak free, no accumulation of trash, litter, and rubbish on the ground.

Tallow Bins:

Lids must be closed when not in use, no accumulation of grease on the ground or near the storm drain. If grease spills, clean it up without washing it into the storm drainage system.

Outdoor Storage:

Waste or other materials must be contained and managed to prevent discharge of pollutants.

Indoor Drains:

Indoor drains must be plumbed to the sanitary sewer or approved private sewage disposal system, in a compliant manner.

Outdoor Interceptors:

Outdoor interceptors must be maintained to prevent overflow of grease.

Waste Water Management:

Waste water from all equipment, mats, surfaces, and pressure washing activities must be collected and discharged to the sanitary sewer. For more information see Best Management Practices for Restaurants on the Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program website at

Storm Drains:

The areas in an around storm drains should be free of accumulated food waste, mop strings, waste water, detergents, grease, oil, and other items.

Roof Top Equipment:

Roof-top equipment must be maintained to prevent grease and other non-stormwater discharges.


Storm water violations will result in a Notice of Violation  that requires the violations to be corrected and proof of compliance to be submitted within a given time frame. Extensions may be granted on a case by case basis. If additional enforcement action is necessary due to failure to comply, it will be progressive and depend on the severity and duration of the violation.

For more information call the Environmental Health Division at (510) 981-5310 during normal business days.

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Environmental Health Division, 2180 Milvia Street, 2nd Floor Berkeley, CA 94704, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-5310
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903