City staff cleans up a cement spill.

Water Quality Enforcement Program

The Creeks Division enforces Chapters 14 and 16 of the City’s Municipal Code (SBMC), which prohibit obstructions from blocking creeks and polluted runoff from entering the storm drain system.
Illicit discharges and creek obstructions are reported by Creeks Division staff, City and County staff, and community members who call the Enforcement Hotline (897-2688), which is monitored during regular business hours.
Some common examples of enforcement cases include:
  • Commercial washing of parking lots and buildings
  • Commercial mobile car washing
  • Mop water from commercial premises washing dumped into storm drain system
  • Residential pool draining
  • Vegetation and debris from landscape maintenance dumped in creeks causing obstruction
When staff observes an illicit discharge occurring, enforcement involves communicating to those responsible that their actions are a violation of the SBMC.  Staff requires the discharger to immediately abate the discharge, and sends a Notice of Violation (NOV) warning letter to the property owner and any tenants or contractors involved.
For more information on the Enforcement Program or to report pollution to creeks or storm drains, please contact Jim Rumbley, Code Enforcement Officer, at 897-2688.

Trees are grown at our Native Plant Nursery.

Creek Tree Program Planting

The Creeks Division is happy to announce that 19 sycamore trees were recently planted on a community member's property on Las Positas Creek as part of the City's new Creek Tree Program!
The Creek Tree Program is designed to assist private landowners with improving wildlife habitat along creeks in Santa Barbara through the planting of native trees.
For approved projects up to $1,000, the Creeks Division will provide all funds for the tree planting, including irrigation. For projects up to $5,000 the Creeks Division will provide the initial $1,000 plus 75% of the additional cost, with a 25% contribution by the homeowner. Eligibility and project cost will depend on each site.
For more information on the Creek Tree Program, please contact George Johnson at 897.1958 or visit

Explore the New "Water Wise Gardening for Santa Barbara County" Website and CD

The Family of Santa Barbara County Water Providers has developed a new free "tool" for water wise gardening - a compact disc and website of gardening information tailored to our climate and our need for water conservation, titled "Water Wise Gardening in SB County."
The data and information are accessible on the CD and online at, where anyone can find a wealth of useful information including:
  • Extensive database with searchable information on over 1,000 water wise plants;
  • More than 300 photos grouped into garden tours and garden galleries, all from local gardens Countywide;
  • Helpful facts, resources, and guidance on gardening design and practices; and
  • Links to other useful sustainable gardening sites.

Newly Certified Clean Creeks Businesses
Join the Creeks Division in congratulating the following businesses taking important steps to protect creek and ocean water quality by becoming Certified Clean Water Businesses!
Mobile Cleaners
Silvergreens SB
Coffee Cat
Bitterman’s Deli
Three Pickles
Panino Montecito
View the complete list of Certified Businesses online at
Television found dumped in a local creek.
Free E-Waste Event January 16th
Unfortunately, electronics are commonly found dumped in our local creeks. You can help by properly disposing of your household electronic devices.
On Saturday, January 16th from 9am - 4pm, Earl Warren Showgrounds is hosting a FREE E-Waste Recycling Event. Bring your televisions, laptops, cell phones, printers, and more to Earl Warren at 3400 Calle Real in Santa Barbara.  
For more information on the event, please call 687-0766.
City of Santa Barbara • PO Box 1990 • Santa Barbara, CA 93102
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