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Background The protection of our local waterways began when the United States Congress passed the Federal Clean Water Act. This legislation established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program in 1972. The emphasis of this legislation was to protect our local waterways from sanitary sewer discharges. In 1987 an amendment to the Clean Water Act required municipalities to obtain NPDES permits for stormwater discharges into the storm drain system. Shortly thereafter, in 1990, the County of Orange along with the County Flood Control District, and all of the incorporated Orange County cities received a regional NPDES permit. These permits are valid for a five year Permit. Since the adoption of the initial permit, subsequent permits have been renewed in 1996, and 2002. The current 4th Term NPDES Permit was adopted on May 22, 2009. The City of Cypress, and the watersheds that it lies within, are located in the region that is governed by the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Board (SARWQCB). Cities in northern and central Orange County are also included in the Santa Ana Region.
City of Cypress Program
The City of Cypress has developed an NPDES Stormwater Permit program that is implemented via the formally adopted Local Implementation Plan (LIP). The LIP describes the activities the City performs to comply with the permit requirements. This includes water quality public education programs, maintenance of the municipal storm drain system, enforcement of illegal discharges from residential, commercial, and industrial properties, and the incorporation of design criteria containing water quality protection measures into all new development and redevelopment projects that occur within the City. This is done through the preparation of a Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP). A Model Water Quality Management Plan document has been developed to assist in this preparation.
What is the Model Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP)?
The purpose of the Model WQMP is to describe the process that proponents will employ for developing a Project WQMP for individual new development and significant redevelopment projects (Project WQMP). When implemented, the Project WQMP will minimize the effects of urbanization on site hydrology, runoff flow rates or velocities and pollutant loads. Following approval of the final Project WQMP and construction of the project, the Project WQMP will serve to maintain the terms, conditions and requirements with the project proponent and their successors and assigns. The effects of urbanization will be minimized through implementation of practicable and enforceable project-based controls or stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs), or through a combination of project-based and regional BMPs. For most projects the process will first involve preparing a Conceptual or Preliminary WQMP to incorporate Low Impact Development (LID) and hydromodification control BMPs where necessary at the earliest planning stages of a project for review. All Priority Projects will require a final Project WQMP to be prepared, regardless of whether a Conceptual or Preliminary WQMP was prepared first. The process for preparing Conceptual or Preliminary WQMPs and/or final Project WQMPs is described in Section 7.II-5.0 of the Model Water Quality Management Plan document with supplemental information provided in the Technical Guidance Document (TGD). Please contact the Community Development Department at (714) 229-6720 before preparing your conceptual or preliminary WQMP to inquire about WQMP requirements.
The Model WQMP identifies controls, referred to as LID BMPs, as well as other BMPs and alternative compliance programs, for new development and significant redevelopment projects that are subject to WQMP requirements pursuant to Section 7 of the Drainage Area Management Plan (DAMP).
The Model WQMP has been developed to aid the City of Cypress, County of Orange, the Orange County Flood Control District, and cities of Orange County (the Permittees) and development project proponents with addressing post-construction urban runoff and stormwater pollution from new development and significant redevelopment projects that qualify as Priority Projects. Priority Projects include developments that create new impervious surface and significant redevelopment that adds or replaces 5,000 or more square feet of impervious area on an already developed site.
Use of the Model WQMP, TGD, and WQMP Templates
Three documents have been developed by the County of Orange to support new development requirements in response to permit requirements from the SARWQCB: a Model Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP), a Technical Guidance Document (TGD), and a WQMP Template. The Model WQMP describes the requirements for preparing a Project WQMP. The TGD contains supporting technical guidance for how to complete these requirements and how to perform the technical analyses necessary to prepare a Project WQMP. The WQMP Template can be used by project proponents to prepare a specific Project WQMP.
Model Water Quality Management Plan and Technical Guidance Document Training Modules
In order to provide land developers, project proponents, and associated consultants and organizations with an overview of the new land development requirements in Orange County in the area under the jurisdiction of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, training modules have been developed to orient readers to the contents of both the updated Model WQMP and the Technical Guidance Document. The training modules provide an overview of the level of detail that must be included at each phase of the WQMP preparation process, site and watershed assessment methods, LID BMP selection and prioritization methods, LID BMP design standards and performance criteria, regional LID BMP options, watershed-based plans and LID alternative compliance options. Please take a few minutes to review the training modules so that you can become acquainted with the new land development requirements.
Helping you prepare a Water Quality Management Plan
WQMP Templates are to be used by project proponents as a tool for the preparation and submittal of Project WQMPs. The WQMP Templates contain the overall structure for developing a Conceptual or Preliminary WQMP or final Project WQMP, including fields for entering general information and space for sizing calculations and other analyses necessary for WQMP completion. Please use this template for designated private development projects.
A WQMP template has been prepared to help guide you through the process.
A Non-Priority Project Water Quality Plan is required to be completed for private new development and significant redevelopment projects. These are projects that do not fall under one of the Priority Project Categories defined within the Model WQMP but meet one of the following conditions:
- Require discretionary action that will include a precise plan of development, except for those projects exempted by the Permittee Water Quality Ordinance (as applicable); or
- Require issuance of a non-residential plumbing permit for pipelines conveying hazardous materials (e.g. gasoline) as defined in the Permittee Water Quality /Stormwater Ordinance. Requirements for Non-Priority Projects are contained in a separate Non-Priority Project Water Quality Plan, which requires that a Project Proponent document the selection of site design, source control and any other BMPs included in a project. Information contained in the Model WQMP and the TGD can be used as a reference for completing the Non-Priority Water Quality Project Plan.
Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs)
Your project may be subject to additional requirements if it:
1. includes 2,500 square feet or more of impervious surface, and
2. is directly adjacent to (located within 200 feet) or is discharging directly into receiving waters of an ESA, defined as an area such as those designated in the Ocean Plan as an Area of Special Biological Significance or a waterbody listed on the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) list of impaired waters.
Water Quality Management Plan Preparation Tools:
WQMP Questionnaire PDF
Model Water Quality Management Plan PDF
Technical Guidance Document (TGD) PDF
Developer's Guide to WQMP Preparation within the City of Cypress and Storm Water Project Checklist PDF
Standard Conditions of Approval PDF
WQMP Covenant and Agreement Regarding Operations and Maintenance Plan to Fund and Maintain Water Quality BMPs, Consent to Inspect, and Indemnification Word PDF Questions relating to the above documentation should be made to the Department of Public Works at (714) 229-6694.
Water Quality Management Plan Submittals:
All WQMP plan submittals must be accompanied by a $500.00 plan check deposit. Applicants are advised that additional costs may be incurred as a result of the plan check process. Applicants will be required to submit three (3) copies of the WQMP for review and approval.