Storm Water Pollution Prevention
Storm Water Background
Storm water from urban runoff is one of the leading causes of pollution
in creeks, rivers, and lakes. In fields and forests, most rain water is
absorbed by the soil and taken up by plants and trees. However, developed areas
contain impermeable surfaces like roofs, parking lots, and streets that cause
rainwater and snowmelt to runoff (storm water) and collect pollutants. Storm
water that flows into a storm drain without best management practices (BMPs)
goes untreated directly into our creeks, rivers, lakes, delta and eventually,
the ocean. Storm water is ultimately
part of the hydrologic cycle, along with our potable water, so it is imperative
to keep it as clean as possible.
Storm water can become polluted by
pesticides, paint, fertilizers, pet waste, litter, oil and other automotive
fluids, eroded soil and household chemicals. Even small amounts of pollutants
that accumulate on roads, parking lots, and sidewalks can be transported into
nearby streams and rivers. Identifying sources of storm water pollution and
keeping this pollution away from storm drains and ditches is the best and most
economical way to keep storm water clean.
County Storm Water Information Sheets
Storm Water Community Information
Construction Industry Information
Food Facility Information
Hazardous Materials Information
What El Dorado County Residents Can Do To Prevent Storm Water Pollution
Residents of El Dorado County can do their part to prevent and control storm water pollution. Here are some easy steps:
- Don't dump anything down storm drains. Chemicals such as paint, oil, and pesticides harm fish, wildlife, and people.
- Dispose of litter properly.
- Keep storm drains clear of debris, dirt, sand, silt, and wastes.
- Prevent dripping and spilling automotive fluids. Used oil and filters, antifreeze, and other automotive fluids can be safely recycled at a local used oil collection center.
- Wash cars at a car wash rather than in a driveway.
- Use natural pesticides and fertilizers for landscaping and lawn care.
- Plant native vegetation.
- Stabilize areas that are prone to erosion with vegetation or rock.
- Learn about ways to capture and use rainwater onsite.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination
System (NPDES) Requirements
Storm water pollution is controlled
by the Clean Water Act amendments of 1987. The amendments authorized the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency to expand the National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System (NPDES) Program to cover storm water discharges. The NPDES Program is a permitting mechanism
that requires the implementation of controls designed to prevent harmful
pollutants from being washed by storm water runoff into local water
Both the Tahoe and West Slope portions
of the County are covered under Municipal NPDES Permits. The Lake Tahoe
Municipal Phase I NPDES Permit is administered by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (Region Six). The West Slope Municipal Phase II NPDES
Permit is administered by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Region Five).
current Lake Tahoe Municipal NPDES Permit was adopted and took effect on December 6, 2011 for a term of five years. The Permit incorporated the Lake Tahoe Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), and the Lake Clarity Crediting Program.
The current West Slope Municipal NPDES Permit was adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on February 5, 2013. The Permit became effective on July 1, 2013
for a term of five years.
Construction Sites and Storm Water Pollution Information
Construction activities include clearing, grading, excavating, stockpiling, and re-constructing new or existing facilities. Construction activity does not include routine operations and maintenance.
When it rains or snows, storm water can carry pollutants from construction sites into storm drains, which convey untreated storm water directly to our creeks, rivers and lakes. Tracked mud and dirt at construction site access points and materials left uncovered, or improperly disposed of can get carried into storm drains.
Use care on construction sites to keep pollution contained at the source. Proper use, storage, and disposal of materials goes a long way toward preventing storm water pollution. It is critical to install BMPs to help minimize erosion and keep wastes on-site and away from storm drains leading to our waters.
Removing vegetation or disturbing the ground surface between October 15th and May 1st is prohibited in the Tahoe Basin, and for the rest of El Dorado County, additional requirements may apply.
Specific regulations extend to construction sites disturbing one acre or more of ground surface or to sites less than one acre in size if they are a part of a larger common development.
For additional information on construction in Lake Tahoe, visit: Lake Tahoe Construction General Permit
For additional information on construction on the West Slope, visit: State of California Construction General Permit (West Slope)
Western El Dorado County Storm Water Management Documents
Lake Tahoe Basin Storm Water Management Documents
To Learn More About Local, State, and Federal Permits, BMPs, and Erosion Control, Visit the Following Links:
Storm Water Construction Permit Information
TRPA BMP Resources
Minimum Construction Site Storm Water Management Practices (BMPs)
Erosion Control Specifications
Vegetation Establishment Guidelines for the Sierra Foothills and Mountains
CalTrans - Storm Water Management Program
California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA)
State Water Resources Control Board's Storm Water Films
questions or comments about the Storm Water Management Program contact:
El Dorado County Long Range Planning
2850 Fairlane Court
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 573-7906 / email@example.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/EDCStormwater