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CURRENT WATER QUALITY ISSUES. Gerard Thibeault California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Region May 8, 2008. ASCE Stormwater Committee Meeting Notice. “Synopsis: Water quality policies and requirements are constantly changing based on TMDLs and Basin Plan requirements.”

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current water quality issues


Gerard Thibeault

California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Region

May 8, 2008

asce stormwater committee meeting notice
ASCE Stormwater Committee Meeting Notice
  • “Synopsis: Water quality policies and requirements are constantly changing based on TMDLs and Basin Plan requirements.”
  • “Constantly changing” vs. “painfully slow”
  • Last TMDL 2007
  • Basin Plan revision 2004
water quality issues
  • Re-issuance of MS4 Permits
  • General Construction Permit
  • Stormwater Quality Standards Task Force
  • Once-through cooling
  • Hydraulic Control of Chino Basin
  • Recycled Water Policy
  • Emerging Contaminants
state policies
State Policies
  • Recycled Water Policy
    • Important drought-related policy
    • Very similar to Santa Ana Region policies
    • Requires other regions to develop salt-management plans
  • Once-through Cooling Policy
    • Enormous significance for power generation in state
    • Statewide consistency
water quality issues1
Water Quality Issues
  • Hydraulic Control of Chino Basin Groundwater
    • Reverse GW gradient across lower basin
    • Supply wells for Chino Basin desalters
    • Stop migration of dairy and ag contaminated GW to Orange Co.
    • Encourages SAR to migrate into Chino Basin
water quality issues2
Water Quality Issues
  • Emerging Contaminants
    • Pharmaceuticals, personal care products, hormones, endocrine disruptors
    • Documented effects on marine habitat
    • Groundwater results
    • Groundwater and surface water monitoring task force
ms4 permit re issuance
MS4 Permit Re-issuance
  • Area-wide permits for Orange County, San Bernardino County and Riverside County
  • Expired during 2007
  • First drafts completed or nearing completion
  • First workshops early 2009
  • Adoption in 2009
ms4 permit re issuance1
MS4 Permit Re-issuance
  • Seeking SoCal consistency
    • Meetings with Los Angeles, San Diego and Colorado River Regions and with U.S. EPA
    • Topics
      • Effective impermeable area
      • Municipal action levels
      • Hydromod or HCOC
      • Inclusion of TMDL requirements
      • LID
ms4 permit re issuance2
MS4 Permit Re-issuance
  • Prefer unified SoCal MS4 permit, but not likely for this round
  • Expect permits to be regionally focused, but essentially similar
    • Exception may be use of Municipal Action Levels (MALs)
ms4 permit re issuance3
MS4 Permit Re-issuance
  • LID/Green Infrastructure
    • Build upon current permit site design requirements
    • New
      • Require Evaluation of ordinances to eliminate barriers to LID implementation
      • Emphasize on site design components, structural source control, and treatment BMPs being operational before occupancy
      • Long-term O&M tracking
ms4 re issuance
MS4 Re-issuance
  • HCOC
    • Existing – per site basis
    • New – link to jurisdictional, sub-watershed and watershed approach
    • Jurisdictional and watershed plans to protect vulnerable streams
    • Preserve existing unarmored streams
    • S.B. Co. project underway

Progress UpdateHydromodification Mapping and Documentationfor Santa Ana River Watershed Area inSan Bernardino County

RBF Consulting

14725 Alton Parkway

Irvine, CA 92618

John McCarthy, PE, CFM

Steve Bein, PE

hydromodification mapping and documentation for the santa ana river watershed
Hydromodification Mapping and Documentation for the Santa Ana River Watershed


Develop a comprehensive map of the Permit area within San Bernardino County to assist the Co-Permittees and project proponents to determine whether a project will flow to a hydrologically sensitive area.

Screening Tool for


& Regional Board

four phase project approach
Four Phase Project Approach

Phase 1 - Completed

Practical Working Definitions

Develop Work Plan

Phase 2 - Completed

Base Data Collection

GIS Feature Creation & HCOC Map Preparation


HCOC Project

  • Data Input:
    • Aligned Drainage Courses
    • Material
    • Dimensions
    • Ownership
    • Reach Limits
ms4 permit re issuance4
MS4 Permit Re-issuance
  • Other matters to be addressed:
    • Cross-media (air pollution)
    • TMDL Implementation
      • Not discretionary
    • Performance standards
    • Contaminated GW rising into MS4
ms4 permit re issuance5
MS4 Permit Re-issuance
  • Next Steps:
    • Collaboration with 3 counties and co-permittees
    • Collaboration with environmental groups and other interested parties
    • Drive for consensus
      • Process used in O.C. last round
    • Workshops
    • Hearings for consideration of adoption
statewide general construction permit
Statewide General Construction Permit
  • Expired in 2004
  • March 18th – Preliminary draft
  • New proposals
    • Tech based Numeric Action Levels
      • pH and turbidity
    • Tech based Numeric Effluent Lim
      • NEL for pH and turbidity (1000 NTU)
    • Specifies more min BMP reqmts.
statewide general construction permit1
Statewide General Construction Permit
  • New proposals (cont’d.)
    • Risk-based permitting – 4 levels
      • 3 lower levels in general permit
      • 4th level must have individual WDRs
    • Soil characteristics monit. and rept.
    • Effluent monit. & rept. – pH & turb.
      • Compliance with NELs & NALs
    • Receiving water monit. & rept.
      • Risk levels 2 & 3
statewide general construction permit2
Statewide General Construction Permit
  • New proposals (cont’d.)
    • New development and re-development SW performance stds.
    • Rain event action plan (48 hrs in advance)
    • Site photographic self-monit. & rept.
    • Annual reporting (> 3 months)
    • Cert./Training reqmts for key staff
stormwater quality standards task force
Stormwater Quality Standards Task Force
  • Addressing issue of bacterial standards for body-contact recreation (REC-1)
    • Fecal coliform vs. e coli
  • Stormwater channels presumed REC-1, unless re-designated by Use-Attainability Analysis (UAA)
  • UAA difficult to achieve, given CA definitions for REC-1 & REC -2
current definition of rec 1
Current Definition of REC-1

“Water Contact Recreation (REC1) waters are used for recreational activities involving body contact with water where ingestion of water is reasonably possible. These uses may include, but are not limited to, swimming, wading, water-skiing, skin and scuba diving, surfing, whitewater activities, fishing, and use of natural hot springs.”

current definition of rec 2
Current Definition of REC-2

“Non-contact Recreation (REC2) waters are used for recreational activities involving proximity to water, but not normally involving body contact with water where ingestion of water would be reasonably possible. These uses may include, but are not limited to: picnicking, sunbathing, hiking, beachcombing, camping, tidepool and marine life study, hunting, sightseeing and aesthetic enjoyment in conjunction with the above activities.”

web site
Web Site