Basin Plan - Triennial Review

Santa Ana Region Salt Management Plan

On January 22, 2004, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a Basin Plan Amendment (Resolution No. R8-2004-0001). The Amendment updated the groundwater basin boundaries and water quality objectives of total dissolved solids (TDS) and nitrogen. The updated Basin Plan also incorporated a revised salt and nitrogen management plan, which included revised nitrogen and TDS waste load allocations for discharges to the Santa Ana River and its tributaries, revised findings regarding assimilative capacity in ground water, and a plan for wastewater reclamation in the Region. To accommodate the reclamation projects in the Region, alternative water quality objectives, or "Maximum Benefit" objectives, were established in some groundwater basins. In return, the local stakeholders made a series of commitments for salt removal and monitoring programs to ensure that the beneficial uses of the ground water basins are protected.

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the Amendment on September 30, 2004 and December 23, 2004, respectively. The surface water standards provisions of the Amendment were approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on January 20, 2007.

The technical analyses that supported the Amendment were funded by the Nitrogen/TDS Task Force, a stakeholder group in the Santa Ana River watershed. The deliverables included technical memorandums, GIS layers (shape files) that delineate groundwater basins, and contour maps of nitrogen and TDS concentrations.

Since 2004, Regional Board has updated the Salt and Nutrient Management Plan for the Santa Ana Region several times as amendments to the Basin Plan. The following are the recent Basin Plan Amendment projects (in descending chronical order):

Basin Plan Amendment to Incorporate the Maximum Benefit Objectives for Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Nitrate as Nitrogen and Salt and Nutrient Management Plan (Implementation Plan) for the Elsinore Groundwater Management Zone (Resolution R8-2021-0044)

Basin Plan Amendment to Revise and Update the Total Dissolved Solids and Nitrogen Management Program (TDS/N Management Program) (Resolution R8-2021-0025). The Amendment updated the following elements of the TDS/N Management Program: 1) update the description of the wasteload allocation model that the Santa Ana Water Board would rely on; 2) update TDS and Nitrogen wasteload allocations for permitted dischargers in the Santa Ana River watershed; 3) clarify permitting practices that permit writers need to consider when developing waste discharge requirements for affected waste discharge facilities; 4) identify future planning priorities; and 5) update the regional surface water and groundwater monitoring requirements for the TDS/N Management Program.

Basin Plan Amendment to adopt the Salt and Nutrient Management Plan for the Upper Temescal Valley Groundwater Management Zone (Resolution R8-2020-0038)

Basin Plan Amendment to Revise the Water Quality Objective for Nitrate-Nitrogen in the Chino-South Groundwater Management Zone (Resolution R8-2017-0036).

The Salt and Nitrogen Management Program for the Santa Ana Region also requires the regional surface water and groundwater monitoring and reporting programs that are carried out by the Basin Monitoring Program (BMP) Task Force that composes of over 20 water supply and wastewater agencies. The annual reports for the Santa Ana River Water Quality are prepared by Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA), the administrator of the Task Force. The ambient groundwater quality for the groundwater management zones is computed every three years by consultants selected by the Task Force. There documents are posted on SAWPA website.

Staff review the monitoring reports and the Santa Ana Water Board accept the findings of the triennial ambient water quality determination at a duly noticed public meeting. The 2018 TDS and Nitrate-Nitrogen Ambient Water Quality Determinations for Groundwater Management Zones in the Santa Ana Region was accepted by the Board on March 12, 2021 (Resolution No. R8-2021-0020).

Please contact Keith Person at or (951) 782-4997 if you need help locate any of the reports related to Salt Management in the Santa Ana Region.



Documents on the page are in Adobe Acrobat. Get the free reader below:

Click here to Get Acrobat Reader