Watershed Management Program

The Watershed Management Program implements the Phase II Municipally Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit. This program includes education programs and field inspections, as well as construction project management and development review as it relates to surface water quality.

Activities include public outreach and education of water quality; tracking of illegal discharges of materials into the storm drain system and local waterways; water quality testing at storm drain inlets or discharge areas; implementation and enforcement of best management practices (BMPs) for development, redevelopment, and City operations; regional coordination; and the overall stewardship of local watersheds by regulating storm water runoff into creeks and the Carpinteria Salt Marsh.

Construction Activities

Development projects must prevent sediment and other construction related pollutants from entering the storm drain, as detailed in Carpinteria Municipal Code Chapter 8.10, Watershed Management. The City regulates discharges from construction activities through permits issued by the Community Development Department and through Engineering Permits.

New and Redevelopment

New and redevelopment projects in the City of Carpinteria must be designed to prevent water quality impacts from occurring, not just during construction, but throughout the life of the project.

City staff review project applications to determine mitigating conditions consistent with requirements in Section E.12 of the Statewide NPDES Municipal General Permit  and, for projects located in the NPDES Permit Area, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Post-Construction Stormwater Management Requirements.

All regulated projects shall follow the Santa Barbara County Stormwater Technical Guide

The Stormwater Technical Guide explains how to design bioretention for development projects.  Bioretention is the recommended solution for addressing the County’s stormwater requirements.  Additional resources including bioretention construction specifications, plant selection, and a vendor list, can be found on the Central Coast Low Impact Development Initiative  website.

An example Stormwater Control Plan for a commercial project is here; an example Stormwater Control Plan for a residential subdivision is here .

The program involves the following services or activities:

  • Storm Water Management
  • Storm Drain Maintenance
  • Regional Watershed and Storm Water Funding Coordination
  • State and Federal Permit Coordination