Welcome to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Colorado River Basin Region Welcome to the California Environmental Protection Agency
Governor's Website
My Water Quality
Performance Report
Colorado River Basin - Stormwater Program

Colorado River Basin – Storm Water Program

The Colorado River Basin Region (Regional Water Board) developed this web page to provide information on the State Board Storm Water Programs (Construction, Industrial and Municipal) and Regional Board permits.

Quick Links

Construction Program Overview

Dischargers whose projects disturb one or more acres of soil or whose projects disturb less than one acre but are part of a larger common plan of development that in total disturbs one or more acres, are required to obtain coverage under the General Permit for Discharges of Storm Water Associated with Construction Activity. 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 (CGP) 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. Enrollment under the CGP is through Stormwater Multiple Application and Report Tracking System (SMARTS).

Annual Reports must be submitted by projects that are enrolled under the CGP No. 2009-0009-DWQ for more than one continuous three month period. The Annual Reports will be submitted electronically in SMARTS. Annual Reports are due to the State Water Board on September 1 of each year with a July 1 through June 30 compliance year.

For projects active for longer than a continuous three month period, and construction project completion prior to September 1, an Annual Report will still be required and must be submitted electronically in SMARTS prior to notice of termination (NOT) submittal.

Construction Permit Documents

SMARTS and related Information

Construction Resources

Industrial Storm Water Program

Dischargers are required to enroll under this NPDES permit that regulates discharges associated with 10 broad categories of industrial activities. The Industrial General Permit (IGP) 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 IGP 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 group monitoring program.

Industrial Permit Documents

The following are hyperlinks to the State Water Board Industrial Storm Water Program Web page and additional web sites to assist in the compliance with the IGP. Enrollees can sign up to submit annual reports electronically; the proposed draft IGP is proposing to require mandatory electronic enrollment and submittal of annual report in the future.

Industrial Resources

The following information provides links to BMPs, resources, and training information.

Municipal Phase I Program

The Municipal Storm Water Permitting Program regulates storm water discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). Storm water is runoff from rain or snow melt that runs off surfaces such as rooftops, paved streets, highways or parking lots and can carry with it pollutants such as: oil, pesticides, herbicides, sediment, trash, bacteria and metals. The runoff can then drain directly into a local stream, lake or bay. Often, the runoff drains into storm drains which eventually drain untreated into a local waterbody.

Additionally, municipal or urban areas commonly include large impervious surfaces which contribute to an increase in runoff flow, velocity and volume. As a result, streams are hydrologically impacted through streambed and channel scouring, instream sedimentation and loss of aquatic and riparian habitat. In addition to hydrological impacts, large impervious surfaces contribute to greater pollutant loading, resulting in turbid water, nutrient enrichment, bacterial contamination, and increased temperature and trash.

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. The Regional Water Board has one Phase I Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit for the Whitewater River Watershed, the permittees include: Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (RCFC&WCD), Riverside County, Coachella Valley Water District, Cities of Desert Hot Springs, Palm Desert, Banning, Indian Wells, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Indio, Rancho Mirage, and La Quinta.

Board Order R7-2013-0011 was adopted on June 20, 2013 and is the Phase I MS4 Permit for the Whitewater River Watershed.

MS4 Phase I Permit Documents

The following are hyperlinks to the Regional Water Board Phase I MS4 Permit R7-2013-0011 and related documents and additional web sites to assist with compliance with this permit.

MS4 Phase I Resources

The following information provides links to BMPs, resources, and training information.

Municipal Phase II Program

The Municipal Storm Water Permitting Program regulates storm water discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). Storm water is runoff from rain or snow melt that runs off surfaces such as rooftops, paved streets, highways or parking lots and can carry with it pollutants such as: oil, pesticides, herbicides, sediment, trash, bacteria and metals. The runoff can then drain directly into a local stream, lake or bay. Often, the runoff drains into storm drains which eventually drain untreated into a local waterbody.

Additionally, municipal or urban areas commonly include large impervious surfaces which contribute to an increase in runoff flow, velocity and volume. As a result streams are hydrologically impacted through streambed and channel scouring, instream sedimentation and loss of aquatic and riparian habitat. In addition to hydrological impacts, large impervious surfaces contribute to greater pollutant loading, resulting in turbid water, nutrient enrichment, bacterial contamination, and increased temperature and trash.

On April 30, 2003, the State Water Resources Control Board issued 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 (population less than 100,000), including non-traditional Small MS4s, which are facilities such as military bases, public campuses, prison and hospital complexes. The Phase II Small MS4 General Permit covers Phase II Permittees statewide. On February 5, 2013 the Phase II Small MS4 General Permit 2013-0001 DWQ was adopted and will become effective on July 1, 2013.

The Cities of Imperial and El Centro, Calexico, Brawley and the County of Imperial are enrolled under the State Water Board General Order for Phase II MS4s.

MS4 Phase II Permit Documents

The following are hyperlinks to the Regional Water Board Phase II MS4 Permit 2013-0001 DWQ and related documents and additional web sites to assist in the compliance with this permit.

MS4 Phase II Resources

The following information provides links to BMPs, resources, and training information.

Public Reports on Storm Water

The following links provide public information through the State Water Board Databases.

Questions or Comments

State Water Board Contact Information:

Regional Water Board Contact Information:

General Inquires: stormwater@waterboards.ca.gov
Telephone Toll Free: 1-(866)-563-3107
Fax: (916) 341-5543
Report a Storm Water Violation
State Water Board Contact Us Information

For Industrial Program
Email Jay Mirpour or phone (760) 776-8981

For Construction and CalTrans Programs
Email Suhas Chakraborty or phone (760) 776-8961

For MS4 Phase I and II Programs
Email Anders Wistrom or phone (760) 776-8964

For Fee and Invoice Related Questions
Email Maribel Rodriguez or phone (760) 776-8941

Additional Regional Water Board Contact Information