Business Stormwater Inspections

Watershed and Stormwater Management Division
Request Information About the Business Stormwater Inspection Program
Call the Business Stormwater Inspection Program Manager

The City of Oakland conducts stormwater inspections at industrial and commercial businesses to comply with the State of California’s clean stormwater regulations, and to enforce Oakland Municipal Code Chapter 13.16, Creek Protection, Storm Water Management and Discharge Control Ordinance. The city conducts approximately 900 business stormwater inspections each year at a variety of business types.

Businesses can prepare for a stormwater inspection by reviewing online stormwater resources, and ensuring that you are implementing the Four C’s: Cover, Capture, Clean, and Contain.

  1. Cover outdoor work and storage areas. Repair any leaks or cracks.
  2. Capture fluids before they run to the street and nearby storm drain inlets, including spills from fuel, vehicle/equipment maintenance areas, cooking liquids, and rooftop equipment.
  3. Clean up spills before they reach a storm drain inlet. Use dry clean-up methods (sweeping, absorbents) to clean spills indoors and outdoors. Take a look at this video to learn more about the benefits of using dry clean up methods.
  4. Contain new and used stored fluids to capture leaks. Use secondary containment for chemical or material storage.

The City of Oakland thanks all business owners and operators in advance for their assistance with this important water resource protection and stormwater pollution prevention program. In Oakland, all storm drains lead directly to creeks, lakes, and the San Francisco Bay, and only clean stormwater is permitted in the City’s storm drain system.

Please note that business stormwater inspections are not scheduled in advance.


Please visit the Alameda County Clean Water Program website to view resources that will help you prepare for your inspection and prevent stormwater violations.

Inspection Fees and Invoicing

The City has implemented a state-mandated Business Stormwater Inspection Program since the early 1990s without any cost-recovery. In May 2019, the Oakland City Council adopted the Stormwater Inspection Program fees. The fees are based on the time it takes to conduct an inspection, which varies by the type of business, and are typically invoiced one to two months from the date of the inspection or re-inspection. Invoices are mailed to the inspected business storefront address, and copies will not be sent to the property owners or property managers. The stormwater inspection fees can be found in the City’s Master Fee Schedules below.

Update Regarding COVID-19

Due to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Oakland’s businesses, we are offering a 12-month payment plan program, with no added fees. The payment plan can only be used for the business stormwater inspection invoice and cannot be used for other city fees. Please review the frequently asked questions below:

Can I have a payment plan longer or shorter than 12 months?

No, the City will not grant payment plans longer or shorter than 12 months. You can pay off the remaining balance at any time before the payment plan ends.

What happens if I cannot make a monthly payment?

Let us know as soon as possible if you won’t be able to make a payment. Your balance will roll over to the next month. If you get to the end of your 12-month payment plan and you still have a balance due, you will need to make a final payment to cover the remainder.

What will happen if I do not pay my balance by the end of the payment plan?

Your account will be sent to collections.

Will the City consider zeroing out or rescinding this invoice?

No, the City will not zero out or rescind the stormwater inspection invoice.

How do I make a payment?

Send checks to the remit to address on the invoice prior to the "pay by" date listed in the payment plan. The City will not send you a reminder to make a payment.

How do I request a payment plan?

If you need a 12-month payment plan for the stormwater inspection invoice, please complete the following steps:

  1. Send an email to or call (510) 238-6600. Provide your business name, business address, invoice #, and describe the COVID-19 related financial impacts to your business.
  2. After the City receives a request to initiate a payment plan, a hard copy, 12-month payment plan will be sent to your business address (or another address that you specify). Please review, sign, and return the payment plan to: City of Oakland, Oakland Public Works–Watershed and Stormwater Management Division, 250 Frank H Ogawa Plaza #3341, Oakland, CA 94612