Preventing Pollution

​​ Only Rain Down the Drain

The stormdrain system was established to prevent flooding in communities by directing stormwater runoff away from property.

Stormwater that flows off of roofs, parking lots, driveways, and other hard surfaces can pick up pollutants as it travels (trash, oil, pet waste, fertilizer, grass clippings and leaves, dirt, etc.) This pollution is carried into stormdrains that lead directly to local water bodies (creeks, lakes, wetlands, or retention/detention basins) and can harm local wildlife, reduce oxygen levels, and lead to excessive algae that can harm natural systems.

Many local creeks flow to sinkholes where pollution can be carried into the aquifer, our water source that also feeds the springs and rivers we treasure. By minimizing our personal pollution, we can help protect local water and wildlife, the springs and rivers we love, and the water we drink! Remember, “Only Rain Down the Drain”!


Best Management Practices (BMPs​)



Quick Tips for Reducing Stormwater Pollution

Clean Creeks Hotline

Clean Creeks Hotline 352-264-6800The Clean Creeks Hotline can be used to report discharges in the community that may impact the health of local water. County Environmental Protection staff address reports of pollution and educate individuals to protect local water quality. Help keep Alachua County creeks clean. If you see an illegal discharge, call the Clean Creeks Hotline: 352-264-6800.

An illegal discharge includes any of the following released into a waterway, road, or stormdrain:

  • Cleaners and solvents
  • Wash water (car, mop, carpet cleaning water)
  • Landscaping debris (grass clippings, leaves)
  • Landscaping chemicals (fertilizer and pesticide)
  • Oils and greases Paints
  • Pet waste
  • Swimming pool discharge
  • Construction sediment/dirt
  • Litter
  • Wastewater

NPDES and the Gainesville Clean Water Partnership

Gainesville Clean Water Partnership Logo

The Gainesville Clean Water Partnership was formed in 2001, when Alachua County, the City of Gainesville, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) joined to implement the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II Municipal Separate Stormwater Systems (MS4) program in the Gainesville Urbanized Area.

Quarterly reports summarize Alachua County Environmental Protection’s efforts to reduce stormwater pollution and include inspections of hazardous materials facilities, response to spills and complaints, public outreach efforts, and investigative projects that are conducted as part of the illicit detection and elimination (IDDEP) program. Reportsare available by request, please email​.


Gainesville Clean Water PartnershipVisit Our Friends at
"We otter have clean water!" is your source of information on the creeks, wetlands, and watersheds in Gainesville. Learn how our community cares for water through stormwater management and how you can help keep local waterways beautiful and healthy.

Florida Friendly Landscaping

Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program 

UF IFAS Extension Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program. Florida-Friendly landscapes protect Florida's unique natural resources by conserving water, reducing waste and pollution, creating wildlife habitat, and preventing erosion. Learn about the nine FFL principles and find helpful resources here.