Watershed Management Program

The Watershed Management Program oversees implementation of the Phase II Municipally Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit. This program includes education programs and polluted water investigations, 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.

Pollution Prevention and Response

The City of Carpinteria takes an active role in preventing pollution and responding to reports of pollution and spills. There are many types of spills or discharges that cause pollution and can create an environmental health hazard. If a spill is suspected to be hazardous waste, call 911. For non hazardous materials, reports can be filed online (fastest response) or by calling 805-880-3415.

Help us address polluted spills or discharges quickly!

The City strives to provide appropriately trained staff to reports of pollution as quickly as possible.  When reporting a spill or pollution, providing key information can help get the right staff to the scene.

Where?  Provide a complete address (if possible) and describe the location (The location of the spill could be ‘in the street’ or ‘on the road shoulder’ or ‘into a storm drain on the southbound side’). Photos are very helpful and allow us to more easily issue administrative citations.

When? Is the report for an actively occurring event or for something that has already taken place?

What? What do you know about the polluting materials? Please tell us if you know or suspect the material is hazardous and poses an immediate threat to health and safety.

Educational Programs and Media

The City of Carpinteria is a partner in the Our Water, Our World program, which offers safer, less toxic, alternatives to common pest and gardening problems. Visit Our Water Our World to find information on easy, non-toxic solutions to dealing with problems like ants, fleas, snails and slugs, and other household and garden pests. You can also find information about healthy gardens and find information on the safe use and disposal of pesticides.

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 Public Works. This includes development permits and engineering/grading permits.

Permits that include earthwork require submittal of an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, or in the case where a project is also subject to General Permit for Discharges of Storm Water Associated with Construction Activity (Construction General Permit, 99-08-DWQ), a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan or SWPPP can be submitted instead.

The Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (or SWPPP) addresses pollution prevention through the use of Best Management Practices to control erosion and non-stormwater discharges such as fueling, saw cutting, placing concrete, painting, etc. BMPs appropriate for the Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (or SWPPP) can be selected from the resources listed below.

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