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Stormwater Pollution Prevention in Milpitas, California

What is a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)?

An SWPPP is a required written document for facilities that seek to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. SWPPP requirements ask for several things:

  • To identify any potential sources of stormwater pollution on a construction site.
  • To list and describe all of the practices necessary to reduce stormwater discharge pollution from the identified construction site.
  • To identify all of the procedures that will need to be implemented in order to comply with the terms, and
  • The conditions of a general construction permit.

Every facility where pollutants are directly discharged into a Water of the United States (WOTUS) must obtain NPDES Permits. The process of getting this permit requires that the facility submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) that fully describes all potential types of pollutants they will discharge and a list of the names of any receiving waters. After the notice has been submitted, the facility must then submit an SWPPP. The goal here is stormwater pollution prevention across the country to keep our waters as clean as possible.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention in Milpitas, California

In order to continue reducing the urban development pollution of waterways, municipalities like Milpitas, CA are going beyond the traditional stormwater pollution prevention systems and implementing Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) features. The features of GSI are inspired by nature. GSI uses plants, soils and porous surfaces at stormwater collection sites. These holding areas are planted with a variety of vegetation intended to soak the stormwater into the ground so it can be filtered by the soil. This process has a triple effect of limiting erosion, meeting SWPPP requirements and improving the water quality by reducing the pollutants that flow out into the waterways and the ocean.

The City of Milpitas created a GSI plan to guide siting, implementation, tracking and reporting of every GSI project on city-owned land for the foreseeable future. The development of this GSI plan is required for all National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits granted by the city. Key strategic principles include: 

  • Coordination with GSI regulations for private development and opportunities in adjacent public rights-of-way.
  • Identification of GSI opportunities in capital projects; and 
  • Aligning GSI goals and policies with other City planning documents to achieve multiple benefits and provide safer, sustainable and attractive public streetscapes. 
  • The Plan contains guidance and standards for GSI project design and construction, and describes how the City will track and map constructed GSI projects and make the information available to the public. 
  • Lastly, it explains existing legal mechanisms to implement the GSI plan, and identifies potential sources of funding for the design, construction and maintenance of GSI projects.

Requirements and Regulations to Know About

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has instituted the use of SWPPP requirements in order to preserve and improve the quality of our nation’s water. One of the best ways to do this is by regulating all facilities that discharge water containing pollutants. Because municipal sewer systems treat waters they receive, if your discharged waters enter into a sewer system then SWPPPs and NPDES permits are not required. But, in order to be safe, check with your municipality or local water authority before discharging any polluted water or pollutants even into a sanitary sewer system.

In most cases of new land development, an NPDES permit will be required. This will in turn result in the need for a stormwater pollution prevention plan to be put into place by the owner/developer. In order to be sure you know all of your local stormwater regulations, work with experts in the field to fulfill all of the SWPPP requirements of your municipality, state or the federal EPA. Sometimes by simply following an EPA qualifying local program that meets all requirements, your Notice of Intent filing can be waived. It will be essential for you to know and follow all of the local requirements and regulations throughout the process.

Hire Torrent Laboratory for Your SWPPP!

Wading through the regulations and processes of stormwater regulations, and the requirements of your SWPPP, always poses challenges and will be especially difficult if you are new or newer to the process or are working in a new area (municipality). This is where a partner like Torrent Laboratory will be invaluable. Torrent has been working as the premier environmental laboratory for California and Hawaii for three decades. Our engineers are the most highly qualified and experienced in the industry. Our testing laboratory is equipped with all of the latest technology to provide you with tremendous assurance in quality testing results and turnaround times (TATs).

Because we have been working in California for all of these years, we know the requirements and regulations of cities like Milpitas inside and out. We will be able to provide clear direction, advice, support, testing and customer service throughout the process. We will help you to be in full compliance with all aspects of your stormwater pollution prevention plan, including Green Stormwater Infrastructure plans.