Storm Water Management


The District Storm Water Program Coordinator duties include the following:

Types of Pollutants

Types of Pollutants Some common contaminants include:

Drinking Water

Pollutants can have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreational use, and wildlife. Some very popular beaches have even been closed due to contaminated storm water.


The federal Clean Water Act requires various industrial facilities, construction sites, and urban areas with more than 100,000 people to control the amount of pollutants entering their storm drain systems. Industrial facilities and construction sites are regulated by the SWRCB through general storm water permits. Cities and Counties are regulated through permits issued by the RWQCB.


Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan

In 1972, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (also referred to as the Clean Water Act [CWA]) was amended to provide that the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States from any point source is effectively prohibited unless the discharge is in compliance with an National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.  The 1987 amendments to the CWA added Section 402 (p) that establishes a framework for regulating municipal and industrial storm water discharge under the NPDES Program.  On November 16, 1990, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) published final regulations that establish application requirements for storm water permits.  The regulations require that storm water associated with industrial activity (storm water) that discharges either directly to surface waters or indirectly through municipal separate storm sewers must be regulated by an NPDES permit.

The development, implementation, and maintenance of the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) will provide school districts with the tools to reduce pollutants contained in storm water discharge and comply with the requirements of the General Storm Water Permit.  The primary goals of the SWPPP will be to: 

This SWPPP includes all of the following:

Storm Water Hotline

To report a storm water concern, please call at (619) 338-2048. You may anonymously report a crime by calling (800) 78-CRIME or go to You may also contact the storm water coordinator for MiraCosta College District at (760) 795-6691.

Storm Water Runoff & Pollutants


Storm Water Pollution also called Urban Runoff is a problem that affects everyone. It closes beaches, can make our children ill, and threatens the health of marine and wildlife.

Pollutants such as automotive fluids, break dust, leaves, grass clippings, pet waste, cigarette butts, mop water, dirt, and unfinished beverages are generated everyday and combine to create a gooey, sticky, stinky unhealthy mess that contaminates and closes our beaches.

When it rains, or when water is used, pollutants are picked-up from the ground and carried into the nearest storm drain down the street. The storm drains are not connected to a treatment system, so everything that flows down the drain goes directly to the nearest water body, ultimately flowing into the ocean.


Everyday trash, litter and debris, sand, silt, and sediment, petroleum products leaking from motor vehicles, heavy metals in the dust from motor vehicle brake pads and diesel exhaust, animal feces, excess fertilizers and pesticides, and other pollutants are carried to the waterways by urban runoff as a result of rain or excessive irrigation, or other sources of water in the urban environment.


Industrial Storm Water Program

The Industrial Storm Water General Permit Order 97-03-DWQ (General Industrial Permit) is an NPDES permit that regulates discharges associated with 10 broad categories of industrial activities. The General Industrial Permit requires the implementation of management measures that will achieve the performance standard of best available technology economically achievable (BAT) and best conventional pollutant control technology (BCT). The General Industrial Permit also requires the development of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and a monitoring plan.  Through the SWPPP, sources of pollutants are to be identified and the means to manage the sources to reduce storm water pollution are described. The General Industrial Permit requires that an annual report be submitted each July 1.  Facility operators may be able to participate in a group monitoring program.

Municipal Program (MS4)

The Municipal Storm Water Permitting Program regulates storm water discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). MS4 permits were issued in two phases.

Under Phase I, which started in 1990, the RWQCBs have adopted NPDES storm water permits for medium (serving between 100,000 and 250,000 people) and large (serving 250,000 people) municipalities. Most of these permits are issued to a group of co-permittees encompassing an entire metropolitan area. These permits are reissued as the permits expire.

As part of Phase II, the SWRCB adopted a General Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water from Small MS4s (WQ Order No. 2003-0005-DWQ) to provide permit coverage for smaller municipalities, including non-traditional Small MS4s, which are governmental facilities such as military bases, public campuses, and prison and hospital complexes.

The MS4 permits require the discharger to develop and implement a Storm Water Management Plan/Program (SWMP) with the goal of reducing the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable (MEP). MEP is the performance standard specified in Section 402(p) of the Clean Water Act. The management programs specify what best management practices (BMPs) will be used to address certain program areas. The program areas include public education and outreach; illicit discharge detection and elimination; construction and post-construction; and good housekeeping for municipal operations. In general, medium and large municipalities are required to conduct chemical monitoring, though small municipalities are not.

Construction Storm Water Program

Dischargers whose projects disturb 1 or more acres of soil or whose projects disturb less than 1 acre but are part of a larger common plan of development that in total disturbs 1 or more acres, are required to obtain coverage under the General Permit for Discharges of Storm Water Associated with Construction Activity (Construction General Permit, 99-08-DWQ). Construction activity subject to this permit includes clearing, grading and disturbances to the ground such as stockpiling, or excavation, but does not include regular maintenance activities performed to restore the original line, grade, or capacity of the facility.

The Construction General Permit requires the development and implementation of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). The SWPPP should contain a site map(s) which shows the construction site perimeter, existing and proposed buildings, lots, roadways, storm water collection and discharge points, general topography both before and after construction, and drainage patterns across the project. The SWPPP must list Best Management Practices (BMPs) the discharger will use to protect storm water runoff and the placement of those BMPs. Additionally, the SWPPP must contain a visual monitoring program; a chemical monitoring program for "non-visible" pollutants to be implemented if there is a failure of BMPs; and a sediment monitoring plan if the site discharges directly to a water body listed on the 303(d) list for sediment.  Section A of the Construction General Permit describes the elements that must be contained in a SWPPP.

If a single project traverses more than one Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) jurisdiction, a complete Notice of Intent package (Notice of Intent, site map, and fee) and Notice of Termination (upon completion of each section), must be filed for each RWQCB.

Linear Projects

Small Linear Underground/Overhead Projects disturbing at least 1 acre but less than 5 acres (including trenching and staging areas) must be covered by the Statewide General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity from Small Linear Underground/Overhead Projects (Small LUP General Permit). The Small LUP General Permit has varying application and permitting requirements based on the type and complexity of the project.

Linear projects disturbing five or more acres of land must obtain coverage under the Construction General Permit.

Other Permits

There are two (RWQCBs) that have adopted their own permit to cover discharges from construction activity greater than 5 acres in specific watersheds. These permits are applicable to construction projects in the South Lake Tahoe hydrologic unit (RWQCB 6STL) and the San Jacinto Watershed (RWQCB 8). Owners of construction projects in these two watersheds must apply for the Regional Board permits rather than the statewide Construction General Permit.