Stormwater

Stormwater

FAQ’s

What’s the difference between the sewer system and the storm drain system?

Stormwater and all the pollutants that flow from our homes, parking lots and streets to the gutter into the storm drains discharge directly into our creeks and other water bodies…untreated. Water and pollutants that flow into the sanitary sewer, such as water from our bathtubs and toilet, are sent to wastewater treatment facility before the water is discharged to creeks, the bay, or ocean.

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I cannot find my septic tank. How do I find it?

Your local health department should have information regarding the location of your septic tank. Also, a local septic tank pumping service can employ several different types of technology to verify the tank location.

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Do I need to notify the city before I drain my pool?

Yes. Before draining your pool, please call the City’s Environmental Compliance Division at 951-351-6140 (dial 311 after normal business hours) for approval. Pools may not be drained into our storm drains, street gutters or sewer manholes. Pools must be drained through your on-site sewer clean-out.

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What is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program?

Polluted stormwater runoff is a leading cause of impairment to the nearly 40 percent of surveyed U.S. water bodies which do not meet water quality standards. Over land or via storm sewer systems, polluted runoff is discharged, often untreated, directly into local water bodies. When left uncontrolled, this water pollution can result in the destruction of fish, wildlife, and aquatic life habitats; a loss in aesthetic value; and threats to public health due to contaminated food, drinking water supplies, and recreational waterways.

Mandated by Congress under the Clean Water Act, the NPDES Stormwater Program is a comprehensive two-phased national program for addressing the non-agricultural sources of stormwater discharges which adversely affect the quality of our nation's waters. The program uses the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting mechanism to require the implementation of controls designed to prevent harmful pollutants from being washed by stormwater runoff into local water bodies.

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MS4: What is a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)?

The regulatory definition of an MS4 (40 CFR 122.26(b)(8)) is "a conveyance or system of conveyances (including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains): (i) Owned or operated by a state, city, town, borough, county, parish, district, association, or other public body (created to or pursuant to state law) including special districts under state law such as a sewer district, flood control district or drainage district, or similar entity, or an Indian tribe or an authorized Indian tribal organization, or a designated and approved management agency under section 208 of the Clean Water Act that discharges into waters of the United States. (ii) Designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater; (iii) Which is not a combined sewer; and (iv) Which is not part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) as defined at 40 CFR 122.2."

In practical terms, operators of MS4s can include municipalities and local sewer districts, state and federal departments of transportation, public universities, public hospitals, military bases, and correctional facilities. The Stormwater Phase II Rule added federal systems, such as military bases and correctional facilities by including them in the definition of small MS4s.

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What causes polluted stormwater runoff?

Polluted stormwater runoff generally happens anywhere people use or alter the land. People going about their daily lives are the number one source of stormwater pollutants. Most people are unaware of how they impact water quality. Some common examples include over fertilizing lawns, excessive pesticide use, not picking up pet waste, using salt or fertilizer to de-ice driveways, letting oil drip out of their vehicles and littering. Developed areas in general, with their increased runoff, concentrated numbers of people and animals, construction and other activities, are a major contributor to NPS pollution, as are agricultural activities. Other contributors include forest harvesting activities, roadways, and malfunctioning septic systems.

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Resources
Quick Links
Other Wastewater Resources
General Information
Address:
Riverside Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RRWQCP)
5950 Acorn Street
Riverside, CA 92504

Phone: (951) 351-6140

Admin Hours:
Hours: M-F 7:30 am-4:30 pm  
Closed on Weekends and Major Holidays
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