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Storm Drains


Storm Drain Inlet - Keep Clear of Debris and Pollutants 

Storm Drains - A Critical Part of Yreka's Infrastructure

Storm drains are known by a number of different names such as storm sewer, stormwater drain and municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). They are a critical piece of infrastructure for the City of Yreka as they help prevent or reduce flooding. Storm drains collect runoff from rain or melted snow over parking lots, sidewalks, streets, houses, driveways and other non-permeable surfaces (a surface that does not absorb or let water pass through it). This stormwater runoff picks up dirt, trash, oil, grease and other pollutants. Once the stormwater enters a storm drain, it will eventually drain into Yreka Creek. Unlike the water that goes down a drain in your house, stormwater is not treated at the wastewater treatment plant. Any pollutants that the stormwater runoff picks up will end up in the Creek. It is critical for residents of Yreka to help prevent pollutants from entering storm drains.


Stormwater Pollution

Stormwater pollution includes many different types of harmful materials including debris, chemicals, soil, and other pollutants that are carried by water through the storm drain system to local creeks, into the Klamath River and ultimately the Pacific Ocean. Polluted storm water runoff can have adverse effects on plants we eat, native fish and animals (like salmon, trout, deer and elk), and children and pets who may swim in or ingest these waters. Leaves and other debris not only have the potential to pollute local bodies of water, but also block our storm drains. Blockages prevent storm drains from operating effectively and cause flooding. 


In order to minimize pollution and other impairments, the state has assigned Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) to many of our waterways. A TMDL identifies how much pollutant a body of water can effectively absorb before water quality standards are exceeded.

"The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) process leads to a "pollution budget" designed to restore the health of a polluted or impaired body of water. The TMDL process provides a quantitative assessment of water quality problems, contributing sources of pollution, and the pollutant load reductions or control actions needed to restore and protect the beneficial uses of an individual water body impaired from loading of a particular pollutant. More specifically, a TMDL is defined as the sum of the individual waste load allocations for point sources, load allocations for non-point sources, and natural background such that the capacity of the water body to assimilate pollutant loading (the loading capacity) is not exceeded (40 CFR §130.2)." - North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board


What You Can Do

  • View this poster which shows how everyday activities can contribute to stormwater pollution. 
  • Keep the streets clear of leaves, yard clippings, and other debris. These can clog storm drains and increase the possibility of flooding. 
  • Find less toxic alternatives to hazardous household products from and Our Water, Our World.
  • Pick up dog and other animal waste and dispose of it with the rest of your solid waste. Bacteria in animal waste contribute to unhealthy waterways. 
  • Follow fertilizer package instructions carefully, don't over fertilize, and don't allow fertilizers or pesticides to run off your yard. 
  • Don't apply fertilizer if you think it's going to rain. 
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn, or compost them, in order to utilize them as natural fertilizer. 
  • Only use lawn chemicals when necessary. 
  • Don't put anything down storm drains. 
  • Clean sidewalks, driveways and other pavement by sweeping instead of using a hose. Spraying these surfaces with water will carry pollutants on their surfaces into the storm drains and into our local waterways. 
  • Dispose of vehicle fluids properly. Oil, gas, and antifreeze are the primary contributors to pollution in waterways. 
  • Keep your vehicle properly maintained in order to prevent toxic fluids from leaking out of your vehicle. 
  • Wash cars on gravel, landscaped areas, or other permeable surfaces instead of in the driveway or street where soapy water may enter the storm drains. 

Report Spills

If you notice an usual substance in or around a storm drain, or if you see anyone dumping anything into a storm drain, call the City of Yreka immediately. 

Business Hours       (530) 841-2370

After Hours (YPD)  (530) 841-2300