San Diego Region - Sanitary Sewer Overflows

State Water Resource Control Board (State Board) Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ, Statewide General Waste Discharge Requirements for Sanitary Sewer Systems, adopted by the State Board on May 2, 2006, establishes minimum requirements to prevent sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) from publicly owned/operated sanitary sewer systems. Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ is the primary regulatory mechanism for sanitary sewer systems statewide, but allows each regional board to issue more stringent or more prescriptive Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) for sanitary sewer systems within their respective jurisdiction.

In accordance with Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ, all federal and state agencies, municipalities, counties, districts, and other public entities that own, operate, acquire, or assume responsibility for sanitary sewer systems greater than one mile in length that collect and/or convey untreated or partially treated wastewater to a publicly owned treatment facility in the State of California are required to apply for coverage under the statewide general WDRs. Approximately 54 Sewage Collection Agencies in Region 9 fall under this category.

On May 9, 1996, this Regional Board adopted Order No. 96-04, General Waste Discharge Requirements Prohibiting Sanitary Sewer Overflows by Sewage Collection Agencies, which prohibited the discharge of sewage from a sanitary sewer system at any point upstream of a sewage treatment plant.

Order No. 96-04 had been an effective regulatory mechanism in reducing the number and magnitude of sewage spills in the Region. The Order was more stringent and prescriptive than Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ in that Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ may allow some SSOs that were prohibited under Order No. 96-04.

In order to maintain regulation of Sanitary Sewer Systems in the San Diego Region consistent with the provisions of Order No. 96-04 and implement the requirements contained in the Basin Plan, California Water Code, and Federal Clean Water Act, this Regional Board adopted Order No. R9-2007-0005, which reaffirms the prohibition on all SSOs upstream of a sewage treatment plant. Order No. R9-2007-0005 applies to all enrollees under the State Board Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ within Region 9, supplements the State Board Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ, and rescinds Order No. 96-04 for all Sewage Collection Agencies enrolled under the State Board Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ.

On February 20, 2008, the Executive Director of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) signed Order No. WQ 2008-0002-EXEC, amending the statewide Monitoring and Reporting Program associated with the General Waste Discharge Requirements for Sanitary Sewer Overflows, Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ for discharges of untreated sewage from sewage collection systems. Order No. WQ 2008-0002-EXEC requires additional reporting requirements for public SSOs that reach surface waters or storm drains.

On August 6, 2013, the Executive Director of the SWRCB signed Order No. 2013-0058-EXEC, which became effective September 9, 2013 and amended the MRP associated with the General Waste Discharge Requirements for Sanitary Sewer Overflows, Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ. The amendments to the MRP set forth in Order 2013-0058-EXEC address compliance and enforceability in the existing MRP. The amendments additionally address stakeholder concern regarding cost of compliance issues. The MRP in Order 2008-0002-EXEC that have been effective since 2008 are superseded by the amended requirements set forth in Order 2013-0058-EXEC.

Please check out the links below to learn more about SSO regulatory programs. All files are in PDF format unless noted.

Sanitary Sewer Overflow Data

All sanitary sewer overflow data are self-reported by sewer agencies under penalty of perjury. The Regional Board attempts to verify, but cannot guarantee, the accuracy or completeness of the information

Collection Systems

On November 12, 2008, the Regional Board adopted a resolution in support of the,”No Drugs Down the Drain” Campaign for proper pharmaceutical medication disposal in the San Diego region. The Resolution directed staff to promote the goals of the campaign by providing a link from the Regional Board web-site to the campaign website, and issuing a letter to the sewer collection and treatment agencies in the region requesting that they assist in educating the public and in sponsoring “take-back” programs within their service areas.