National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
What is the NPDES program?
The NPDES permit program addresses water pollution by regulating point sources (discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches) that discharge pollutants to the waters of the United States. An NPDES permit contains: limits on what can be discharged, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that the discharge does not harm water quality or people's health.
The NPDES program is a federal program, authorized by the 1972 Clean Water Act, which has been delegated to the State of California for implementation through the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Water Boards), collectively Water Boards. Per Chaper 7.79 of the County Code, Runoff and Pollution Control, the County is required to comply with Federal and State laws concerning stormwater. Santa Cruz County reports to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board under the NPDES General Permit (within these boundries). Please note, certain projects (such as industrial, construction projects that disturb one or more acre of soil, cannabis) may require additional permits through the State Water Resources Control Board.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA)
State Water Resources Control Board Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Second Nature
Design Guidance Manual for Stormwater Quality Surfrider Foundation: Ocean Friendly Gardening Tips
Storm Water Management Program November 2010 Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Streamcare Guide Slow It, Spread It, Sink It
How does the County implement the NPDES program?
Pollution prevention and stormwater management is implemented by numerous different departments within the County. The County continually reviews and updates relevant ordinances as necessary to meet the General Permit requirements.
Education, Outreach, and Public Involvement
Public education is a proactive and cost effective way of reducing pollutants. Therefore, the County organizes an annual Earth Day event, participates in media campaigns, provides workshops, and hosts volunteer clean up days. To find out more about how to prevent pollution, visit the Residential pollution preventation page or click on the links below for Business resources:
Carpet Cleaning Dentists Dry Cleaners Machine Shops Medical Facilities Paint Contractors Photo Processing Printers
Responsible Car Washing Restaurants Restaurants (Spanish) Surf Board Shapers Vehicle Service Facilities
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Illicit discharge is the release of anything other than stormwater into the storm drain system. Minimizing these discharges can help reduce pollutants from entering our streams and ocean. Please report any illicit discharges to the County with My Santa Cruz County or by calling Environmental Health at (831) 454-2022. If the illicit discharge is an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control Program
Controlling the amount of sediments and runoff from construction sites minimizes pollutants in our storm drain system. To find out more about how to control pollutants from construction sites, click on the following link: Erosion and Stormwater Pollution Control
Pollution Prevention / Good Housekeeping for Permittee Operations Program
The County ensures that the municipal stormdrain facilities are routinely maintained.