Apply for a Temporary Discharge Permit

What can go down Oakland’s storm drains?

Temporary Discharge to Stormdrain System Application
Uriel Dominguez Guzman
Application questions can be directed to

The City’s storm drain system is designed to carry rainfall runoff and other natural drainage. The runoff is collected and conveyed through a system of underground pipes, open ditches, and natural waterways before flowing into Lake Merritt or the San Francisco Bay. With a few exceptions, only rainwater should enter the City’s storm drain system. In the instances where non-rainwater is allowed to be discharged, the City requires a Temporary Storm Drain Discharge Permit.

Those interested in discharging to Oakland’s storm drain system are required to submit an application describing the type of discharge proposed, the quality and quantity of water to be discharged, and proof of compliance with other permitting requirements. The application will be reviewed to ensure water quality goals are maintained and the proposed discharge will not overwhelm the City’s storm drain system. An approved permit specifies the conditions under which water may be discharged into the City’s storm drain system. Permits are issued for a specified duration and tailored to each applicant.

Non-stormwater discharges are often subject to additional NPDES or California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) permitting (Do I need a NPDES Permit?). It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all permitting requirements are met.

A Temporary Storm Drain Discharge Permit may cover non-routine discharge activities such as (this is not a comprehensive list and in shall not be viewed as such):

  • Dewatering of construction sites
  • Fire hydrant flushing
  • Potable water sources
  • Springs and groundwater

What is not allowed:

  • Wash down surfaces
  • Vehicle or equipment wash water
  • Contaminated groundwater
  • Fats, oils, or grease
  • Paints, solvents, cleaners, etc.
  • Stormwater commingled with any of the above

Additional Resources:

Discharges to the City's sanitary sewer require a Temporary Discharge to Sanitary Sewer System Permit. Questions regarding these permits should be directed to David Ng (