Water & Sewer


The City of Douglas is considered a Phase I Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). This means that the storm drain system is separate from the sanitary sewer system. The storm water that does not soak into the ground or evaporate gets discharged into Whitewater Draw. Unlike water and wastes conveyed in the sanitary sewers, storm water is untreated before being discharged.
Water and Sewer Pipe Graphic

Storm Drains

Never dump anything down the storm drains. Pesticides, pet wastes, leaking oil from a vehicle could all end up in our washes and ditches if proper care is not taken. The following are some helpful tips for minimizing your impact to the storm water discharge:

Vehicle Care

  • Make sure you take proper care of your vehicle.
  • Oil, antifreeze and other lubricants that leak onto the asphalt and concrete will be picked up in the next rain and washed into the city's storm drain system.
  • Clean up any spills with dry absorbent and properly dispose of the wastes. Don't wash spilled material into the storm drain.
  • Wash your car on your lawn or use a commercial car wash.
  • Washing your car in the driveway increases water runoff into the storm drains and carries the oil, grease and road grime that collect on your vehicle.

Pool Draining

  • City code prohibits the discharge of pool water into the storm drain.
  • Look for responsible ways of draining your pool.

Pet Wastes

  • Flushing pet waste in the sanitary sewer is the best disposal method.
  • Leaving pet waste on the ground can lead to public health issues when storm water carries the harmful bacteria into the ditches and river beds.


  • Be water wise when you landscape.
  • Planting low-water use trees and shrubs helps conserve water and minimizes over-watering that leads to runoff into the storm drains.
  • Sweep up yard wastes instead of hosing them down into the storm drains.
  • See the water conservation Web page for additional information on landscaping techniques in a desert environment.
  • If your home has rain gutters, direct the rain gutter downspouts into your yard and away from impervious surfaces.


  • Apply pesticides and fertilizers as directed.
  • Pesticides should be applied sparingly and not be applied either immediately before or immediately after a rain event.

Home Repair & Improvements

  • Before beginning your project, locate the nearest storm drain and protect them from debris and other materials.
  • Clean paint brushes in the sink and not outdoors.
  • Properly dispose of Paint and thinner wastes.
  • Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled and recyclable products whenever possible.