Stormwater Regulations, Reports, and Plans

County of San Diego's Watershed Protection Ordinance (Revised May, 2015)

On May 8, 2013, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board  (Regional Board) adopted a new Municipal Stormwater Permit (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit, No. R9-2013-0001), and subsequently adopted R9-2015-0001 on February 11, 2015, which amended the order.  This Permit mandates that the County of San Diego develop new and updated Runoff Management Plans and Programs, including Water Quality Improvement Plans and a Jurisdictional Runoff Management Program. These documents were submitted to the Regional Board on June 26, 2015.  Permit requirements are generally implemented in the unincorporated County under authority of the Watershed Protection, Stormwater Management, and Discharge Control Ordinance (WPO).   

On May 13, 2015 the County Board of Supervisor’s adopted the Watershed Protection, Stormwater Management, and Discharge Control Ordinance (WPO) which is updated to reflect current Stormwater Permit requirements. The WPO became effective June 12, 2015.

County of San Diego Watershed Protection, Stormwater Management, and Discharge Control Ordinance (Effective June 12, 2015)

On November 18, 2015, the Regional Board amended the 2013 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit (Order No. R9-2015-0100) to make minor permit revisions and to enroll south Riverside County Copermittees. The amended MS4 Permit, like all previous iterations, requires the County to establish and maintain adequate legal authority to implement all updated MS4 Permit provisions.  The Watershed Protection Ordinance (WPO) is being amended to ensure that it is current with the minimum requirements of the recently amended MS4 Permit. 

On January 6, 2016, the County Board of Supervisors will consider the adoption of amendments to the WPO needed to bring it into conformance with the current MS4 Permit include updating terminology and definitions related to land development priority development projects (PDPs), removal of outdated sections, minor updates to discharge prohibitions, and the incorporation of an optional program to allow development projects to satisfy some of its stormwater compliance obligations at off-site locations. Upon adoption, the amended WPO will become effective on February 26, 2016.  

Draft:  Updated Watershed Protection Ordinance (WPO)



Stormwater Permit - 

California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit (PDF RWQCB website)

California Regional Water Quality Control Board – San Diego Region

Jurisdictional Runoff Management Program and Illegal Discharge Investigation Procedures

Pursuant to Provision F.1.b.(1) of Order No. R9-2013-0001, the San Diego County Copermittees have submitted Water Quality Improvement Plans for 7 of the watershed management areas in the region. The public is invited to review and comment on these deliverables according to the specific information provided for each; comments are due to the Regional Board no later than July 31, 2015, at 5:00 pm.

Reports and Plans

Hydromodification Management Documents can be found on this webpage

Low Impact Development Manual

SUSMP Information can be found on this webpage

Grading Ordinance can be found on this webpage



If you have questions or would like additional information, 
call the County Stormwater hotline at 1(888) 846-0800
or e-mail us at

Report a Stormwater Violation On-Line
Department of Public Works
Watershed Protection Program
5510 Overland Ave., Suite 410, MS O326
San Diego,  CA  92123,  USA
(858) 495-5318           Fax: (858) 495-5263