Protecting Creeks

Creek channels in metropolitan areas of Sacramento County are periodically cleaned by the County Department of Water Resources Drainage Section. But it is the responsibility of each property owner to keep creeks and their borders free of debris that could clog the channel, causing local flooding and endangering the surrounding area.


  • Clean, free-flowing streams add value to property and homes.
  • Stream-side vegetation provides attractive green space in a neighborhood.
  • Stream corridors are ribbons of green that provide a healthy habitat for wildlife.
  • Clean channels carry storm water safely to the rivers.
  • Flowing water and stream-side trees help moderate the valley’s temperature.
  • Creeks are natural play areas for children…and a place to learn to value living things.
  • Creeks offer quiet retreats for all ages away from noise and traffic.
  • Creek trails can provide biking, walking and jogging routes away from hazardous roadways.


Many of our creeks support steelhead and Chinook salmon—a federally listed species. These fish need an ample flow of clean water and natural gravel substrate. Any material dumped into a storm drain also goes directly into a creek and a river, affecting the aquatic habitat, and the source of our drinking water.

  • Dumping of refuse fills our creeks with trash that clogs channels and creates local flooding. Textiles and plastic tarps and bags line the creek bottom, preventing essential oxygen from entering the underlaying sediment where invertebrate animals live.
  • Improper use and disposal of chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, oil and paints, pollutes the water, destroying plants and endangering wildlife.
  • Sewer backups and overflows can be unsanitary and harmful to local waterways. For information about how you can prevent sewer back-ups visit:
    Stop the Clog or Sacramento Area Sewer District.
  • Erosion of stream banks means loss of valuable trees and habitat, and releases excess sediment which dirties the water. Protect stream-side vegetation.


Never use a storm drain as a dump for any kind of waste!

  • Use your refuse collection service for trash and those garden clippings that cannot be composted, keeping such debris out of our waterways.
  • Dispose of any chemical, oil, paint or other toxic material at authorized disposal sites. The County Hazardous Materials Division and the City Solid Waste Division collect recyclable and toxic household waste. The collection events are held regularly, and are free to Sacramento residents.
  • Minimize your use of Diazanon and other pesticides. Ask your nursery about biological alternatives.
  • The County drainage ordinance prohibits the placing of any obstruction in a floodway including buildings, fill, or fencing. Dumping of waste, trash, or debris in a waterway is also prohibited.
  • The California Department of Fish and Wildlife requires a permit to work in a stream bed — for the purpose of protecting aquatic life. For general information: (916) 445-0411.
  • The Army Corps of Engineers requires a permit for any work that alters a stream channel — for the purpose of protecting wetlands. For information: (916) 557-5250.

For information call: County Department of Water Resources: (916) 875-7246 .


For Safe Disposal of Oil, Toxics and Pesticides:
Sacramento County Hazardous Waste (916) 379-0500
City of Folsom 355-7272

To Report Obstructions and Toxic Spills in Channels call 311 or:
Sacramento County Drainage Maintenance (916) 875-5171
City of Citrus Heights (916) 727-4770
City of Folsom (916) 461-6730

To Report Illegal Dumping call 311 or:
City of Sacramento (916) 264-5948
City of Citrus Heights (916) 727-4770
City of Folsom (916) 451-6702
County of Sacramento (916) 874-8024