Report outdoor water waste

Report wasteful water practices and usage outdoors

What to do

If there is a water leak that is a safety hazard, causing property damage, or creating flooding contact the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Customer Service line at 415-551-3000 during normal business hours (Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm). After hours or on holidays, call 311.

If a fire hydrant is damaged, gushing water, or leaking a lot, call 911 immediately.

1. Check if this is a reportable water waste concern

If the water waste is occurring in a San Francisco park or recreation facility, use a different parks report instead.

If this is an acute instance of flooding as opposed to wasteful water practices, use a different flooding report instead. 

Ensure that the water waste you have observed falls under one of the following categories of reportable water waste:

  • 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.

If it does, proceed with the steps below to make a report. 

Multiple reports made by the same person for the same incident will not result in additional actions taken by the SFPUC.

2. Fill out a form

We will need:

  • An exact address for the location of water waste
  • The type of water waste
  • The location type (residential, commercial)
  • The date and time of the water waste incident
  • Frequency of incident (one time or recurring)

We will also ask you for other optional details such as a description of the incident, a description of the location, and the name of the business or property. Include a photo if possible. Any additional information and photos provided will help with the incident response. 

3. Track your case

After you report, you will get a tracking number from 311. You can use this number, or your email address, to track your case online.



Call 311 to make a report


415-701-2311 if calling from outside San Francisco
For TTY, press 7

What wasteful water practices are

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. Go to SFPUC's website to learn more about the restrictions.

If you think you see wasteful water practices occurring, 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. Access these resources and more on SFPUC's website for water conservation

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.

Get help



415-701-2311 if you are calling from outside of San Francisco

For TTY, press 7

Last updated June 13, 2024