Storm Water Regulations

The State Water Resources Control Board finds that storm water is a resource and an asset and should not be treated as a waste product.  Managing rainwater and storm water at the source is a more effective and sustainable alternative to augmenting water supply, preventing impacts from flooding, mitigating storm water pollution, creating green space, and enhancing fish and wildfire habitat.  California encourages alternative, innovative, multi-objective solutions to help use and protect this valuable resource, while at the same time controlling pollution due to urban runoff.
In 2013, the SWRCB adopted the Phase II Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (Small MS4) General Permit that specifically requires the City of Riverbank to comply with detailed regulations.

Storm water runoff is said to account for the majority of the pollution in some of our rivers and streams.  Each year, people pour hazardous chemicals, pesticides, paints, detergents, antifreeze, and used motor oil down storm drains.  Rainwater washes along neighborhood gutters into storm drains, eventually flowing into the Stanislaus River.  It is important to understand that roadways are directly connected to our rivers.  Whatever lands on the road, whether it is gas, oil, brake dust, or any number of other contaminants, end up going down the storm drain and into local waterways.  Part of the problem is the common misconception that storm water is treated for pollutants the way household sewage is treated.  Storm water doe not go to a treatment plant, Instead, it carries pollutants that are dumped onto streets, gutters or storm drains directly into our waterways.

There are a number of ways that every one of us can implement best management practices (BMPs) to help reduce or eliminate pollutant discharges to storm drains.  Some of these BMPs include:

Best Management Practices

  • Always use a drip pan when changing the oil in your vehicle.
  • Picking up after your pets to avoid wastes from being washed into the storm drain.
  • Sweeping up grass clippings and leaves before they enter the storm drain system and dispose of them in your recycling cart; nutrients can leach from yard waste and contaminate our streams.
  • Keeping fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides off concrete and paved areas to prevent water washing the chemicals into the storm drain.
  • Rinsing paint brushes in the sink rather than outside on the sidewalk or in the street.