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1516PERFORMANCE REPORT The Water Boards...

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The California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report -  2015-16 


MESSAGE:  Reporting violations represent 40% of all stormwater violations.


MEASUREMENTS  - Data last updated on: 

Violation Category Non-Priority
Total % of


Violations vary from not submitting monitoring reports on time to insufficient stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP).  Eight percent of NPDES stormwater violations have been identified as priority violations in 2010.  The most common is reporting violations.


The Water Boards identify priority violations based on criteria identified in the Water Quality Enforcement Policy .  A priority violation represents a greater threat to water quality than other violations. Violations are detected through reviewing of self monitoring reports, inspections and complaints. The enforcement policy requires that the Water Boards ensure that all violations are documented in the appropriate Water Board data management system. According to the enforcement policy all violations will be entered within 10 days of discovery of the violation. Identification and documentation of violations is important to ensure that water quality is protected and that serious violations and those high priority violations receive an adequate enforcement response. Tracking violations and compliance rates over time is necessary to assess the effectiveness of the Water Boards enforcement policies and actions.  To the greatest extent possible, Regional Water Boards shall target entities with class I priority violations for formal enforcement action.




Construction Stormwater Program
Dischargers whose projects disturb 1 or more acres of soil or 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, 2000-0009-DWQ).

Industrial Stormwater Program
Discharges associated with 10 broad categories of industrial activities are regulated under the Industrial Storm Water General Permit Order 97-03-DWQ (General Industrial Permit), which is an NPDES permit.

Municipal Stormwater Phase I Facilities
The Municipal Storm Water Permits regulate storm water discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). Under Phase I, which began in 1990, the Regional Water Boards have issued NPDES MS4 permits to permittees serving populations greater than 100,000 people. Many of these permits are issued to a group of co-permittees encompassing an entire metropolitan area. These permits are reissued as the permits expire.

Municipal Stormwater Phase II Facilities
Under Phase II, the State Water Board 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 (10,000 to 100,000 people), including non-traditional small MS4s which are governmental facilities such as military bases, public campuses, prisons and hospital complexes.

Class I Priority Violations
Class I priority violations are those violations that pose an immediate and substantial threat to water quality and that have the potential to cause significant detrimental impacts to human health or the environment. Violations involving recalcitrant parties who deliberately avoid compliance with water quality regulations and orders are also considered class I priority violations because they pose a serious threat to the integrity of the Water Boards’ regulatory programs.

Class II Violations
Class II violations are those violations that pose a moderate, indirect, or cumulative threat to water quality and, therefore, have the potential to cause detrimental impacts on human health and the environment. Negligent or inadvertent noncompliance with water quality regulations that has the potential for causing or allowing the continuation of an unauthorized discharge or obscuring past violations is also a class II violation.

Class III Violations
Class III violations are those violations that pose only a minor threat to water quality and have little or no known potential for causing a detrimental impact on human health and the environment. Class III violations include statutorily required liability for late reporting when such late filings do not result in causing an unauthorized discharge or allowing one to continue. Class III violations should only include violations by dischargers who are first time or infrequent violators and are not part of a pattern of chronic violations. Class III violations are all violations that are not class I priority or class II violations.

Category 1 pollutant

Oxygen Demand
Biochemical Oxygen Demand
Chemical Oxygen Demands
Total Organic Carbon

Total Suspended Solids (Residues)
Total Dissolved Solids (Residues)

Inorganic Phosphorus Compounds
Inorganic Nitrogen Compounds

Detergents and Oils
Oil and Grease
Other detergents or algaecides

Calcium, Chloride, Fluoride, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Sulfur, Sulfate, Total Alkalinity, Total Hardness,
Other Minerals


Aluminum,  Cobalt, Iron, Vanadium

Category 2 pollutant – Category 2 pollutants as defined by USEPA:

Metals (all forms) - Other metals not specifically listed under Group I

Inorganics - Cyanide, Total Residual Chlorine

Organics - All organics are Group II except those specifically listed under Group I.
Other effluent violation – Any violation of an effluent requirement not cover under Category 1 or Category 2.
Chronic Toxicity – Violation of a chronic toxicity effluent requirement.
Acute Toxicity – Violation of an acute toxicity effluent requirement.
Violation of Non-effluent Permit Condition – Violation of any permit condition not pertaining to effluent requirements.
Reporting – Late report, failure to submit a report, or a report that is either not complete or contains errors.
Monitoring – Failure to conduct required monitoring
Compliance schedule – Failure to comply with a compliance schedule in a permit.  This does not include schedules in an enforcement order likes a Cease & Desist and Time Schedule Orders.
Sanitary Sewer Overflow – Any spill from a sanitary sewer collection system or pump station.
Unauthorized Discharge – Any discharge other than allowed by WDRs that is not a sanitary sewer overflow.
Unregulated Discharge – Discharge from a site not currently under WDRs.
Groundwater – Any release to groundwater that violates permit conditions or basin plan prohibitions.

BMP – Failure to implement proper best management practices.

SWPPP – Failure to complete or update a stormwater pollution prevention plan.

Failure to obtain permit – Failure to obtain the appropriate permit prior to discharge or regulated activity.

Other Codes – Violations of codes sections other that the California Water Code.
Enforcement Action – Failure to comply with a previous enforcement order by not meeting its requirements, its time schedule, or failure to pay penalties.
Basin Plan Prohibition – Violation of any basin plan prohibition.

( Page last updated:  5/16/16