City of San Carlos responds to risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Click here for up to date information and resources. 


Our Stormwater Programs ensure the future health, safety, and general welfare of residents. They also protect and enhance the water quality of our watercourse, water bodies, and wetlands in accordance with the Clean Water Act by:

  1. Eliminating non-stormwater discharges to the municipal separate storm sewer (MS4).
  2. Controlling the discharge to the MS4 from spills, dumping or disposal of materials other than stormwater.
  3. Reducing pollutants in stormwater discharges to the maximum extent practicable.

The San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program (SMCWPPP) website is Flows to Bay.

Flows to Bay provides information about reducing and preventing stormwater pollution for residents, contractors and engineers. Use this website to learn more about countywide events and stormwater best management practices.

Help keep our creeks and storm drains clean by reporting illicit discharges and illegal dumping by calling the Public Works Department at (650) 802-4200 or going to the Flows to the Bay website.


Doing Construction within City Limits?

Be aware that construction sites are required to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to prevent pollution and protect public health. For BMP tips and brochures visit the Flows To Bay Construction  webpage. Conformance with stormwater permit provisions is required as stated in our  permits. Failure to comply with the approved construction BMPs will result in the issuance of correction notices, citations and/or a stop work order. 


Industrial and Commercial Business Inspections for Compliance with Provision C.4. of the NPDES Permit and Fees

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System  (NPDES) Permit sets our stormwater pollution limits. To enforce these requirements, we must perform inspections of businesses that may contribute to stormwater pollution as part of the Industrial and Commercial Site Controls Program  as outlined in Provision C.4 (Page 50)

San Mateo County Environmental Health Department (CEH) previously conducted these industrial and commercial  inspections in conjunction with its regular facility inspections at no additional cost to the businesses or jurisdiction. However, as of January 1, 2018, CEH ceased providing this service for all San Mateo County jurisdictions. As a result, our city and all other San Mateo County agencies began conducting their own C.4. inspections.  We began using our on-call consultant, CSG Consultants, Inc. (CSG), to perform the required inspections to remain in compliance with the Water Board requirements. As part of the transition, CSG prepared a notification letter and developed an inspection checklist, which have been mailed to each business prior to C.4 inspections.


California cities have the opportunity to impose user and regulatory fees for services and activities provided through provisions of the State Constitution Article XI Sections 7 and 9 as well as Article XIIIC, Section 1. These fees may not exceed the estimated reasonable cost of providing the service or performing the activity.  In addition, for a fee to qualify, it must relate to a service of activity under the control of the city on which the fee is imposed.  User and/or regulatory fees, such as C.4. inspections, are able to be recovered by the agency providing the service.  

NBS, Municipal Advisors (NBS) conducted a nexus study to prepare a cost of service analysis, a technical memo with findings and a recommendation to establish an hourly inspection cost recovery fee.  On April 22, 2019, NBS presented findings to City Council, and the hourly inspection rate of $212 was approved and adopted. View the Agenda Packet (Item 10A, p. 143) from the April 22, 2019 meeting. 

Effective July 1, 2019, upon completion of a C.4 business inspection, each business is billed a minimum 1.5 hours for inspection and administration time. If the inspection exceeds one hour the business will be billed in 30 minute increments for any additional time spent at the approved rate. Any follow up inspections to confirm compliance measures have been implemented, will also be billed at the approved hourly rate.