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National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

NPDES is a federal program dedicated to effectively reducing or preventing the discharge of pollutants into surface waters. In California, NPDES general permits are issued by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) which are in place for industrial operations, construction activities, and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). The urbanized portions of Sutter County have been issued a Phase II Small MS4 General Permit which became effective in July 2013.

Statement of Goals

The Board of Supervisors are committed to the following goals to improve storm water quality for Sutter County residents:
  • Benefit the people and environment of the County by protecting water quality in waters of the State;
  • Reduce the discharge of pollutants in stormwater to the maximum extent practicable, whether those discharges are made to the County storm drain system, or directly to natural surface waters;
  • Minimize non-stormwater discharges into the County storm drain system or to natural surface waters;
  • Establish requirements for stormwater management, including source controls and best management practices, for development, redevelopment, construction, post-construction, industrial, and municipal activities; and
  • Comply with the requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act, the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, and the Small MS4 General Permit as they apply to the discharge of pollutants into and from the County storm drain system.

NPDES General Permits


Construction Stormwater Permit

Construction activities resulting in land disturbance of one or more acres, or less than one acre but part of a larger common plan of development or sale, are required to obtain coverage under the Construction General Permit for Discharges of Strom Water associated with Construction Activities, Order number 2009-0009-DQW, as amended by Order number 2012-0006-DWQ. Land disturbance includes construction or demolition activities such as clearing, grading, grubbing, or excavation. However, routine maintenance to maintain original line and grade, hydraulic capacity, or original purpose of the facility as well as land disturbances solely related to agricultural operations (disking, harrowing, terracing, leveling and soil preparation) do not require coverage under the Construction General Permit.

To obtain coverage under the Construction General Permit, a variety of Permit Registration Documents must be submitted to the State Water Resource Control Board by the Legally Responsible Person who is typically the land owner. Permit Registration Documents include a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) created by a Qualified SWPPP Developer, site maps, notice of intent application, risk assessment, certification statement and annual fees which are calculated by the size of the disturbance area. See the SWRCB’s Construction General Permit website for additional information.

Industrial Stormwater Permit

A variety of industrial facilities are required to obtain coverage under the Industrial General Permit for discharges of Stormwater associated with Industrial Activities, Order number 97-03-DWQ until June 30, 2015. A new Industrial General Permit, Order number 2014-0057-DWQ, becomes effective July 1, 2015. There are a variety of workshops and trainings for the new industrial permit on the SWRCB website.

Phase II Small MS4 Stormwater Permit

The Phase II MS4 General Permit is intended for small MS4s to provide permit coverage for municipalities with populations less than 100,000. Sutter County discharges into a variety of surface waters including the Sacramento and Feather Rivers, both of which have been listed as impaired for Diazinon and Chlorpyrifos pesticides. Many of the requirements in the new Phase II MS4 General Permit are to be phased in over the next five years. Sutter County is actively working with the SWRCB to further define and implement 2014/2015 general permit requirements.

Water Quality Protection from Stormwater

  • Our Water – Our World - Home and garden pest management while protecting water quality
  • Protecting Water Quality from Urban Runoff
  • SWRCB Public Education - Storm Water Films, including the following topics:
    (1) What the heck is stormwater runoff
    (2) Lawn Removal – lawn be gone
    (3) Make the Water Go – disconnecting down spouts
    (4) Lawn Practices – grass can always be greener
    (5) Soils – digging up the dirt on soil
    (6) Permeable Pavers – breaking up is easy to do
    (7) Swales are swell and so are rain gardens, and
    (8) Slow the Flow: make your landscape act like a sponge
  • USGS Water Science School

Contact Information

Associate Civil Engineer:
David Tomm, P.E., C.F.M.
1130 Civic Center Blvd.
Yuba City, CA  95993
Phone Number:
(530) 822-7400
Fax Number:
(530) 822-7457