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The City of Orange implements a comprehensive storm water program as required by the federal Clean Water Act amendments of 1987. The program is designed to reach residents and businesses in the city with the overall goal of reducing storm water pollutants that enter the storm drain system and minimize potential water quality impacts to nearby creeks, channels and rivers.

The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board (SARWQCB) issued the first National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) municipal storm water permit to the city of Orange on July 13, 1990 and the latest (fourth term) permit was issued on May 22, 2009 (Order No. R8-2009-0030).

The City’s program is based on the countywide policy document known as the Drainage Area Management Plan (DAMP). The local policy document that implements the various programs of the DAMP such as the inspection of industrial and commercial businesses, construction projects, new development projects, illegal discharges/illicit connections, along with other requirements, is the City’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP); originally adopted in 2003.


The City of Orange is composed of three watersheds. The main watershed comprising 91% of the city is the Lower Santa Ana River watershed. The remaining 9% is divided between the San Diego/Newport Bay watershed (7%) and the Westminster watershed (2%). Generally speaking, the southeastern portions of the city drain to the San Diego/ Newport Bay watershed and the most southwesterly portions of the city drain to the Westminster watershed.


Storm water regulations are codified with the City’s Municipal Code Title 7 Chapter 7.01. Any person who violates water quality regulations is subject to enforcement as specified in Chapter 7.01. Storm water violations should be reported to (714) 532-6480 during business hours/days and to (714) 538-1961 after hours and on weekends. Water Quality concerns or illegal dumping issues can also be reported by using this form and returning to the Public Works Department.

Additional information regarding the storm water program can be found in the following links:

Public Education WQMPs

The City of Orange adopted the Local Implementation Plan which regulates the water quality of storm water run-off. The plan became effective on July 1, 2003.

Two major documents are associated with the LIP:

  1. Local Implementation Plan (LIP) (City of Orange).

    Each City is required to create its own specific plan as to how it will comply with the NPDES permit.


    The Local Implementation Plan requires various projects within the City to submit a Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP).

    See the
    WQMP page for further instructions regarding how to prepare the WQMP report.

  2. Drainage Area Management Plan (DAMP) (County of Orange).

    The DAMP is Orange County's principal policy and guidance document for the NPDES program. The County and stakeholders created the DAMP, which has been in effect since 1993, with subsequent updated elements. The latest revision of the DAMP was in July 2003. See the County of Orange web site for further information.

    DAMP - New Development Section provides further discussion on the preparation of the WQMP report.

    Technical discussion of Low Impact Development (LID) Design features, treatment control BMPs, etc. can be found on the City's WQMP page and within the Technical Guidance Document (TGD).  The TGD file 
    includes instructions for Design Capture Volume calculations and Hydromodification discussion.


Keep Yourself Informed

Sign up on the Orange County Watersheds Program mailing list at the Watershed & Coastal Resources Division website to keep updated with the latest storm water information, outreach materials, information exchange, and issues and topics related to storm water and storm water management.

Helpful Links:

State Water Resources Control Board

Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board

Orange County Watersheds Program



Orange County Storm Water Brochures

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