Storm Water Management
Stormwater Discharge Pollution
Stormwater discharges can carry pollution into our waterways. Also called nonpoint source pollution, this pollution comes from many different sources. Something as simple as rainfall runoff picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, and deposits them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters. Such nonpoint source pollution can include excess fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides, oil, grease and toxic chemicals from streets and other urban runoff, and sediment from improperly managed construction site, among others.
In 1989, Congress passed amendments to the Clean Water Act requiring states to address this increasing problem, and California began requiring a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for stormwater discharges. The NPDES permit program helps address water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States
Water Pollution Prevention Program
To save costs and share information, San Mateo County and all its cities together formed the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program (SMCWPPP). Each municipality, including Half Moon Bay, shares in general program tasks but must maintain its own stormwater pollution prevention program.
The San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Program developed its own stormwater management plan consisting of five major pollution prevention and control sections:
- Industrial & Illicit Discharge
- Municipal Maintenance Activities
- New Development & Construction
- Community Information/Participation
- Watershed & Monitoring
Each of the plan’s sections describes goals, existing conditions and tasks that will be accomplished over a five-year permit period.
- C3 Storm water Technical Guidance
- C3-C6 Regulated Projects Checklist
- Half Moon Bay Current Stormwater Quality Control Requirements (2016)
Storm Drain Master Plan
The City's Storm Drain Master Plan (Phase I) establishes an approach to creating a prioritized Capital Improvement Program to mitigate the impacts of stormwater runoff in the City. This document identifies the steps taken to inventory and analyze the existing storm drain system, analyzes capacity restrictions within the storm drain networks of Half Moon Bay, and provides recommendations for Phase II, which will identify the capital improvement projects needed to provide an acceptable level of service throughout Half Moon Bay.
Public information and participation is one the keys to preventing stormwater pollution.
The new development section of the stormwater program addresses pollution during construction projects, including sediment and erosion control as well as incorporating permanent controls in project designs.
The watershed and monitoring component of the stormwater plan conducts special studies to determine which prevention techniques work best and where to focus pollution prevention efforts.
Illicit discharges are releases of pollutants or non-stormwater to the storm drain system.
Municipal maintenance activities reduce pollutant load into waterways through street sweeping, cleaning catch basins and storm lines, and removing material from drainage channels.