Water Quality Management Plan


Water Quality Requirements for Development Projects (WQMP)

To help you determine whether or not your project must comply with the current (2010) Permit and use the 2012 WQMP Template and Guidance Document , the following is provided:       

  • If your project did not have an approved PRELIMINARY or FINAL WQMP on APRIL 22, 2013, according to section XII.E.1 of the Permit, all projects that meet the criteria of Table 1-1 that are not Pre-Approved, are required to prepare a Project-Specific WQMP that fully meets the requirements of the 2012 WQMP Guidance Document.

If you still have questions, please feel free to contact Rita Thompson at rthompson@lake-elsinore.org.

The City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit, issued by the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Program outlines the regulations and prescribes the programs that the City must implement in order to control pollution to the Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP).

Water quality requirements for specific “priority” development and redevelopment projects are detailed in the  Riverside County Drainage Area Management Plan (DAMP).  

What is a WQMP?
A Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) is a post-construction plan for managing the quality and quantity of runoff that flows from a developed site after construction is completed and the site is occupied.

Your WQMP will describe the site design, source control and treatment control Best Management Practices (BMPs) that will be implemented and maintained throughout the life of your project to prevent and minimize water pollution that can be caused by runoff.

A Preliminary WQMP is prepared and submitted for Engineering Division review during the design stage of a project.  A Final Project WQMP must be approved prior to issuance of building and grading permits.

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WQMP Compliance Process at a Glance. 
For the applicant for development project approval, compliance follows these general steps:

  1. Discuss WQMP requirements during a meeting with City staff, if possible.
  2. Review the instructions in the WQMP Guidance Document before you prepare your tentative map, preliminary site plan, drainage plan, and landscaping plan.
  3. Prepare a preliminary Project-Specific WQMP and submit it (with the application & fees) to the Engineering Division for plan check concurrent with your application for discretionary approvals (entitlements).  (Approval of the Preliminary WQMP is required prior to scheduling Planning Commission hearing.)
  4. Following any discretionary approval, initiate your final Project-Specific WQMP as part of your plan to complete your detailed project design, incorporating the LID Principles and Stormwater BMPs committed to in your preliminary Project-Specific WQMP. Submit your final WQMP to the Engineering Division (with submittal application and fees) for plan check and approval.
  5. In a table on your building, grading and/or improvement plans, list each stormwater facility, and the plan sheet where it appears.
  6. Prepare the final Project-Specific WQMP, incorporating a draft Operation and Maintenance Plan  using the City's approved format and submit it with your application for final WQMP plan check. Execute legal documents assigning responsibility for operation and maintenance of Stormwater BMPs. Legal agreements and financial commitments for operation and maintenance be recorded prior to or concurrent with recordation of a final map or parcel map or Certificate of Occupancy..
  7. Maintain Stormwater BMPs during and following construction.
  8. Following construction and prior to Certificate of Occupancy/Final sign off, submit the recorded copy of the Operation and Maintenance Plan and formally transferring responsibility for maintenance to the owner or permanent occupant.
  9. The occupant or owner must maintain records of stormwater facility maintenance, and submit to City Staff inspections of Stormwater BMPs.   The occupant or owner must ANNUALLY certify Stormwater BMPs are properly maintained and submit reports, prepared and certified by a P.E., to City staff upon their request. 

2012 WQMP Guidance Document and Template and a developer specific web page can be found at Riverside County Flood Control's Watershed Protection website.   It is recommended that you download the documents each time you prepare them to make sure you include updates.

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Does my project require a WQMP?
The WQMP Checklist will help determine whether or not your project will require a WQMP.  If your project does require a WQMP, it is important that you plan and prepare your WQMP early in the planning process, since its requirements may significantly affect site layout, drainage design and construction costs.

Final Project WQMPs must be approved prior to issuance of building and grading permits.

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How do I prepare a WQMP?
The Santa Ana Region Riverside County Water Quality Management Plan Guidance Document and Riverside County Drainage Area Management Plan (DAMP) are the regulatory documents that walk you through the process of how to develop your WQMP and select and design your treatment control BMPs.

It is important to determine whether or not your project requires a WQMP early in the planning process since the requirements may significantly affect site layout, drainage design and construction costs. 

  1. Determine whether or not your project requires a WQMP by completing the WQMP Checklist
  2. Review the Riverside County Water Quality Management Plan Guidance Document and Drainage Area Management Plan (DAMP) documents for requirements. 
  3. Begin to plan applicable site design, source control and treatment control BMPs for the project. 
  4. Download the WQMP Template to begin to prepare your WQMP. This comprehensive template 
    is designed to assist the applicant in providing all required information for efficiency and  
    minimization of review time. 
  5. Submit a preliminary WQMP to the Engineering Division at the same time you submit the Planning Application package to prevent changes at the final grading plan submittal which may delay your project and/or result in costly design changes. 
  6. The final WQMP shall be submitted for plan check review and approval prior to the grading permit process. No permits will be issued until the Final WQMP is approved. The grading plans must be prepared consistently with the approved Final WQMP. 
  7. Once constructed, the Engineer of Record is required to complete a field inspection and complete the WQMP Construction Certification Form to ensure that all structural BMPs have been installed properly and are functioning as intended. This certification is required prior to permit close-out and any associated bond release. Be sure your Engineer is involved during the construction process as necessary to enable him/her to provide this certification.

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What’s the difference between a WQMP and a SWPPP?
The Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) is a plan for post-construction BMPs (after the project is occupied) to prevent and manage stormwater quality for the life of the project during its use. The Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), is a requirement of the State’s General Construction Permit and focuses on BMPs during construction. The focus of a construction SWPPP is to manage soil disturbance, non-stormwater discharges, construction materials, and construction wastes during the construction phase of a project.

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What are Best Management Practices (BMPs)?
In regards to the WQMP, there are three major categories of BMPs:

  • Site Design BMPs (also known as Low Impact Development strategies) – are Project features that are designed or incorporated into a project to minimize the increase in stormwater runoff from the developed project site. Examples of Site Design BMPs include the use of porous pavement or pavers, minimizing the use of impervious pavement areas, directing roof drains to landscaped areas, disconnecting impervious areas, and conserving natural areas, etc., to allow water to percolate into the ground. 
  • Source Control BMPs – Activities or structures aimed at eliminating or minimizing contact between pollutant sources and stormwater/urban runoff. Examples of Source Control BMPs include education, contractor training, storm drain markings, sweeping, litter collection, canopies over fueling islands, and awnings or tarps to cover materials stored outdoors. These BMPs help keep water from carrying pollutants to storm drains and then to the lake. 
  • Treatment Control BMPs – Engineered devices or systems incorporated into the project’s drainage system to remove pollutants from runoff before the runoff leaves the project site. Examples of Treatment Control BMPs include vegetated swales, infiltration trenches, detention/retention basins, catch basin filters, and vortex separators. These devices help remove potential pollutants from runoff prior to leaving site and entering storm drain system and our lake.

More information about BMPs can be found at the CASQA's website, Caltrans, and at Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District's website.

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Other WQMP Resources:


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