Water Waste on Private Property

If this is regarding a water leak, and the leak is:

  • causing property damage
  • a potential safety hazard
  • creating flooding conditions

If the leak falls into any of the three criteria, please contact PUC Customer Service at 415-551-3000 during their normal business hours (Mon - Fri, 8 AM - 5 PM). After hours or holidays, please call 3-1-1 (415-701-2311). Otherwise, please continue on with the process below.

This information is used for reporting outdoor water waste that falls under the following categories:

  • Washing sidewalks, driveways, plazas, and other outdoor hardscapes for reasons other than health, safety, or to meet City of San Francisco standards for sidewalk cleanliness, and in a manner that causes runoff to storm drains and sewer catch basins.
  • Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff to sidewalks, streets, and hardscapes.
  • Using a hose without an on/off control nozzle, for any purpose.
  • Using drinking water in fountains or decorative water features unless the water recirculates.
  • Watering outdoor landscapes with potable water during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall.

An exact address for the location of water waste is required for the SFPUC to take action. Additional information such as photographs may prove helpful for responding to incidences of water waste.

What Are Wasteful Water Practices?

With California still recovering from extreme drought conditions, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has adopted permanent water waste restrictions to reduce water use and follow water-wise conservation practices. For more information about the restrictions, including our FAQs, visit https://sfpuc.org/learning/conserve-water/water-waste-and-fixing-leaks.

If you think you see wasteful water practices occurring, please consider talking with neighbors and businesses about the importance of conserving water, and letting them know about free assistance, publications, and water conservation tips available through the SFPUC. For more information, please visit https://sfpuc.org/savewater.

Note that not all visible water use is wasteful, or means that a home, building, or site’s overall water use is inefficient. The SFPUC reviews all water waste reports submitted to 311, and may issue warning letters to sites identified. Focus is given to sites where significant, frequent or continuous outdoor water waste may be occurring and not on one-time incidents. Multiple reports made by the same person for the same incident will not result in additional actions taken by the SFPUC.

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