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FAQ

Contact Us

Who do I call if I notice a pothole in the street?
Report it on the Access Burlingame app or call the Street and Sewer Division at (650) 558-7670 and give the location. We have a full time crew that maintains the 152 miles of pavement throughout the city.
Who do I call for street, sewer, water and sidewalk problems after work hours?
The City’s regular working hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You should call between these hours (650) 558-7670, to report sewer backups, potholes, etc. The 24-Hour emergency number is (650) 692-8440. Please call this number after hours, weekends, and holidays and let the dispatcher know the nature of the problem.
Who do I call with a water or sewer emergency?

If you are experiencing a water or sewer emergency and require immediate assistance, please contact the Public Works Department at (650) 558-7670, weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or (650) 692-0604 after hours, weekends & holidays.

This includes:

  • Low water pressure
  • Taste, odor, and color of your water (to be reported to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission)
  • Sewer backups and clogged catch basins
  • Flooding
  • Excessive flow of water from a leak or broken pipe
What is the location, phone number and fax number for the Engineering Division?
The Engineering Division is located on the 2nd floor of City Hall, 501 Primrose Road.
  • Phone: (650) 558-7230
  • Fax: (650) 685-9310
Who do I contact for answering my questions regarding the 50/50 Sidewalk Program?
Property owners with questions regarding sidewalks, repairs and encroachment permits should contact the Public Works Department at sidewalks@burlingame.org or call 650-558-7242. Property owners with questions specifically pertaining to trees should contact the Parks Division at 650-558-7330.
Who do I call if I find a sidewalk in disrepair?
If you notice a sidewalk in disrepair, please call the Public Works Street Division (650) 558-7670 to report.

Drought Emergency

Why is the City flushing pipes?
Flushing ensures that the City's water quality is maintained at its optimal level and our drinking water distribution system meets requirements mandated by drinking water State regulations. Flushing is also used to ensure the distribution system is operating properly and can provide adequate flow for fire protection. The Public Works Department is very aware of water conservation and is doing everything possible to reduce flushing throughout the City; however, there will be occasions that the Water Division will need to perform flushing. The Division is committed to doing everything possible to investigate secondary uses for the discharged water. For more information about water pipeline flushing, click here.
Does the City offer any rebates on water-efficient products?
In partnership with BAWSCA, the City offers rebates to residents to purchase high-efficiency washing machines and toilets. Click here to find out more! In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense Products Program offers information about various water-saving devices. 
What can I do to save water inside and outside my home?
The State's Save our Water website, available in English and Spanish, provides helpful water conservation information, including lists of the little changes you can make in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room that collectively add up to a lot of water savings. The site also includes video testimonials by real people taking real action to save water. A tour through the H2O House can help you assess the water saving opportunities in each area of your home. Also, the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency offers Landscape Education classes to learn how to serve water in your yard. 

Furthermore, the Water Use it Wisely website has 100 water conservation tips to start following today! The Grace Communications Foundation offers numerous tips to save water, even when going shopping or choosing what type of food to eat. Finally, the Water Education Foundation provides various resources, including a comprehensive water news page, a water encyclopedia and even water tours to give you a 'first-hand look' at our State's water resources.
How can I teach my kids about water conservation?
The Water Use It Wisely web site provides a Kids page with games, tips and lesson plans for teachers. The website WatchKnowLearn.org provides free videos about water conservation for kids and the family. 
I want to save water, but my family has a pool and still wants to enjoy it. Is there anything I can do to conserve water?
The City recommends that you keep a cover on your pool to prevent evaporation when it is not in use and regularly maintain pool equipment. For guidance, visit the California's Pool and Spa Association water conservation web site or review these tips
I want to save water with my landscaping but don't know how to start. Where can I find help?
Various resources provide guidance to homeowners regarding how to adjust or improve their irrigation system. In addition, you might want to decrease or replace your lawn with drought tolerant landscaping. The Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense Products Program has tips to improve your irrigation program. Water Use It Wisely provides additional irrigation guidance. Furthermore, the Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Gardening Coalition  provides guidance and do-it-yourself classes or access to their database of certified Bay-Friendly landscapers and designers who can help you adjust or upgrade your irrigation system or redesign and install new landscaping to save water. In addition, the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency offers Landscape Education classes to learn how to conserve water in your yard. 
How can I report a water leak or water overuse?
If you have or witness a potential leak or water overuse situation, please contact us on our Water Conservation Hotline at (650) 558-7612 or email us at WaterConservation@burlingame.org

Engineering

What forms of payment does Engineering accept?
The Engineering Division accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover or checks for payment
What are the counter hours for Engineering?
The Engineering Division counter is open weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Does Burlingame Have a Traffic Calming Program?
Yes, the program is called the Residential Traffic Calming Program and residents interested in getting more information may obtain the informational booklet at the Public Works offices at City Hall, 501 Primrose Road. The booklet details various traffic calming measures, how to get your neighborhood on a consideration list, and the process involved in getting traffic calming measures installed or implemented in your neighborhood.

 

  • Burlingame’s Residential Traffic Calming Program (RTCP) represents the City’s commitment to the safety and livability of our neighborhoods.
  • The purpose of the RTCP is to have a process available for identifying and addressing problems related to speeding, excessive traffic volumes and safety on local, residential streets.
  • By using various traffic safety measures, commonly referred to as the “3-Es” (Education, Enforcement, and Engineering), the goal is to alter driver behavior and reduce vehicle speeds or volumes in order to enhance pedestrian safety.
  • »view the program
What is Traffic Calming?
Traffic Calming is a program that uses various traffic engineering, police enforcement, and public education strategies to reduce speeding and cut-through traffic in residential neighborhoods. »view the program
How do I get a Stop Sign?
Burlingame residents may request the City to look into installing stop signs by writing a letter to the Public Works-Engineering Department at: 

 

City of Burlingame 
Department of Public Works – Traffic Engineer 
501 Primrose Road 
Burlingame, CA 94010

What are Stop Signs really used for?
Stop signs are traffic control devices that are used to regulate traffic flow at heavily traveled intersections. They are tools used by Traffic Engineers to help clear up confusion over right-of-way assignment at intersections. Contrary to common belief, the purpose of stop signs is NOT to reduce speed. According to State and Federal traffic control device regulations, “STOP signs should not be used for speed control.” Speeding vehicles are addressed through speed enforcement and traffic calming measures.
How are Stop Signs evaluated?
The City of Burlingame uses a set of conditions called “Warrants”, to calculate whether or not stop signs can be installed. These warrants are modified versions of warrant conditions specified by Caltrans and the Federal Department of Transportation’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The warrant conditions carefully examine accident history, traffic and pedestrian volumes at intersections that are being considered for stop signs.
How are city streets selected for resurfacing?
The City utilizes an advanced software program called Pavement Management Program (PMP) supplied by Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) as the main tool for analyzing street pavement conditions and recommending the appropriate pavement treatment types based on available funding. The PMP program takes into consideration of the age of the street, traffic volume, history of maintenance and repairs, nature of failures and sub-base conditions. The program utilizes a scoring scale called PCI (Pavement Condition Index) from 0 to 100 scale in which 100 represents a new street condition and score below 50 represents a poor street condition. Based on latest pavement condition assessment survey, City of Burlingame’s average PCI is 77 representing above average standard.

 

In general, asphalt pavement deteriorates over time by both traffic loading and by weathering. The PMP focuses on providing cost effective recommendations that enhance the overall condition of the pavement. The Program recommends that 30% of funding be allocated towards preventive maintenance treatments such as slurry seal or micro-surfacing. The remaining funding is programmed for more expensive asphalt overlays and reconstruction. A preventive maintenance treatment extends the asphalt pavement life and helps significantly lower the maintenance costs as well as avoid expensive roadway reconstruction and overlays.

Upon development of the initial project list with recommendations, engineering staff performs field inspection and survey all the streets to verify condition assessments and confirm prioritization. Based on available funding, the top priority projects on the list are recommended for resurfacing. Many projects do not make the list due to limited funding availability and are programmed for the next available funding cycle.

In addition to the recommendations and prioritization based on pavement conditions, engineering staff coordinates with maintenance yard and utility companies to determine if any of the selected streets will be excavated in the near future for underground utilities replacement. Any street that has a utility project or is planned to be excavated in the near future will not be surfaced until that work is completed. If there are utilities conflicts on a given street selected for resurfacing, that street will be replaced by another street on the priority list without such conflicts.

If you have any questions regarding the City street resurfacing program, please call the Public Works Department at (650) 558-7230.

Sidewalks

Who should I call about a sidewalk tripping hazard?
You can call the Public Works Corporation Yard at: (650) 558-7670, if calling after working hours, please leave a message with a description of the problem and address.
Will the City remove a tree that is damaging the sidewalk?
The Parks Division will determine if a tree is to be removed due to sidewalk damage. In general, it is City policy to make every effort to preserve trees. Currently the City will only remove trees if they are diseased, dead or present a safety concern. Please contact Parks Division at (650) 558-7330 if you have any questions regarding trees.
How is the area of sidewalk repairs determined?
The repair area is selected based on a list of sidewalk defect proprities and on the intensity of the pedestrian use of the sidewalks in a given area. Staff takes into account the coordination and scheduling of other projects to avoid potential construction conflicts with other contractors.
Who do I call for street, sewer, water and sidewalk problems after work hours?
The City’s regular working hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You should call between these hours (650) 558-7670, to report sewer backups, potholes, etc. The 24-Hour emergency number is (650) 692-8440. Please call this number after hours, weekends, and holidays and let the dispatcher know the nature of the problem.
Does the City perform routine maintenance on sidewalks outside of the City Sidewalk Program area?
Yes, City crews will perform temporary repairs such as asphalt ramping and grinding throughout the City.
Who do I contact for answering my questions regarding the 50/50 Sidewalk Program?
Property owners with questions regarding sidewalks, repairs and encroachment permits should contact the Public Works Department at sidewalks@burlingame.org or call 650-558-7242. Property owners with questions specifically pertaining to trees should contact the Parks Division at 650-558-7330.
What if the sidewalk replacement and repairs are outside the geographic area identified by the 50/50 Sidewalk Program?
Upon citizen request or complaint, staff will inspect damaged sidewalks outside of the current geographic area identified for repairs. If appropriate, City crews will expeditiously make a temporary asphalt repair in order to protect the public health and safety.
Do I have an option to pay for the repair costs of my sidewalk directly?
Yes, the property owner may choose to pay for their portion of the repair costs directly to the City rather than through their property taxes. Upon completion of the public hearing and determination of final costs, a property owner can request an invoice from the City for their share of the costs.
Who do I call if I find a sidewalk in disrepair?
If you notice a sidewalk in disrepair, please call the Public Works Street Division (650) 558-7670 to report.

Street and Sewer

Who do I call if I notice a pothole in the street?
Report it on the Access Burlingame app or call the Street and Sewer Division at (650) 558-7670 and give the location. We have a full time crew that maintains the 152 miles of pavement throughout the city. 
How often does my street receive sweeping?

During the summer months, the street sweeping is performed every other week and during the fall and winter seasons the street sweeping is performed once a week. There are special circumstances during the fall and winter season during which more resources are diverted in the heavy leaf areas from areas which requiring less sweeping.

Please refer to the following schedules to see the days on which your street receives sweeping:

April - September
October - March

Where do I get sandbags from to protect my property from flooding?

City residents may fill their own sandbags free of charge at the sandbag station located at 600 California Drive. The station is self-service. Staff will maintain the station Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. during rain events. Please call the Public Works Streets Division at (650) 558-7670 or (650) 692-0604 after hours, weekends & holidays if the sandbag station needs attention. Shovels are provided and there is a limit of 15 sandbags per property address.

Who do I call for street, sewer, water and sidewalk problems after work hours?

The City’s regular working hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You should call between these hours (650) 558-7670, to report sewer backups, potholes, etc. The 24-Hour emergency number is (650) 692-8440. Please call this number after hours, weekends, and holidays and let the dispatcher know the nature of the problem.

Who do I call with a water or sewer emergency?

If you are experiencing a water or sewer emergency and require immediate assistance, please contact the Public Works Department at (650) 558-7670, weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or (650) 692-0604 after hours, weekends & holidays.

This includes:

  • Low water pressure
  • Taste, odor, and color of your water (to be reported to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission)
  • Sewer backups and clogged catch basins
  • Flooding
  • Excessive flow of water from a leak or broken pipe
What should I do if I am experiencing a sewer backup?
Please call the Public Works Sewer Division at (650) 558-7670 or (650) 692-0604 after hours, weekends & holidays. They will determine if the problem is the responsibility of the property owner or it is the responsibility of the city in which case they will remedy the situation.
How can I tell when it is a sewer problem on my side and not the City's side?
Locate the city cleanout and see if there is any water standing inside the pipe or if the water is flowing out of the cleanout. If there is no water standing in the pipe the problem might be on the resident side and you will need to call a plumber to service your private line. But it is advised that City be contacted first to determine if there is a problem lies within the City system.
Why do I need backflow protection on my irrigation system?
The State Law and Water Quality requirements provide that there is no cross connection between the drinking water main and the irrigation lines to prevent water contamination.
Why is the City changing water meters?
The meters have a life expectancy 15 to 20 years after which the meters do not function properly and provide inaccurate readings. The new meters offer radio readings which is very accurate and does not require extended staffing resources as is the case with old meters. Less staffing resources would allow other work to be completed to keep the water system properly function to maintain high quality drinking water.
When will my street be paved?
The City uses a sophisticated computer program to prioritize street resurfacing projects based on age, surface and structural conditions of the street. The City also conducts a field review to verify the program prioritization and to determine the streets for programming the project in a given fiscal year. Based on the available funding the top priorities projects get included into the street resurfacing program. Please contact Public Works Department at (650)558-7230 to find out when your street will be paved.
Why does the City use an asphalt oil coating, a slurry seal, on my street?
The City utilizes various preventive maintenance methods such as asphalt oil coating or slurry seal to protect the good street surface by placing an asphalt emulation layer on top. Over time the asphalt surface will become rigid and cracks because of weathering. The coating will prolong the life of the pavement by protecting the surface from sunlight and storm penetrations. The treatment is relatively inexpensive and will extend the life of a street for another 5 to 8 years, thus facilitating the City to use the paving dollars more efficiently.

Water Utility

I don't have water, why?
There may be an emergency shut-off at the main in your area. Please call the Water Billing Office or Corporation Yard for additional information.

 

Water Office: (650) 558-7210
Corporation Yard: (650) 558-7670

Who do I call for street, sewer, water and sidewalk problems after work hours?

The City’s regular working hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You should call between these hours (650) 558-7670, to report sewer backups, potholes, etc. The 24-Hour emergency number is (650) 692-8440. Please call this number after hours, weekends, and holidays and let the dispatcher know the nature of the problem.

Who do I call with a water or sewer emergency?

If you are experiencing a water or sewer emergency and require immediate assistance, please contact the Public Works Department at (650) 558-7670, weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or (650) 692-0604 after hours, weekends & holidays.

This includes:

  • Low water pressure
  • Taste, odor, and color of your water (to be reported to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission)
  • Sewer backups and clogged catch basins
  • Flooding
  • Excessive flow of water from a leak or broken pipe
Why do I need backflow protection on my irrigation system?
The State Law and Water Quality requirements provide that there is no cross connection between the drinking water main and the irrigation lines to prevent water contamination.
Why is the City changing water meters?
The meters have a life expectancy 15 to 20 years after which the meters do not function properly and provide inaccurate readings. The new meters offer radio readings which is very accurate and does not require extended staffing resources as is the case with old meters. Less staffing resources would allow other work to be completed to keep the water system properly function to maintain high quality drinking water.
How often are the water meters read and billed?
Meters are read and bills are sent approximately every 60 days.
Where can I get a copy of the City's Water Quality Report?
View the Water Quality Reports here 
Is there fluoride in the water?
Yes, the water is fluoridated by our provider, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
Where can I get my water tested?
Several Bay Area laboratories can perform water tests. We are unable to recommend a specific lab. Please check the local Yellow Pages for listings.
What is the water hardness in Burlingame?
Please call our provider, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission at (877) 737-8297 who can provide water hardness information.
Where does Burlingame's water come from?
Burlingame buys its water from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, sourced from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir located in Yosemite National Park.