Storm Water Program

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 Number R8-2009-0030).
Watersheds and City and County Jurisdiction
The City's program is based on the countywide policy documents known as the Drainage Area Management Plan (DAMP) and 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 and Newport Bay watershed (7%) and the Westminster watershed (2%). Generally speaking, the southeastern portions of the city drain to the San Diego and Newport Bay watershed and the most southwesterly portions of the city drain to the Westminster watershed.

Reporting and Enforcement

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 the Environmental and Water Quality Form and returning to the Public Works Department.

Storm Water Programs

The City of Orange adopted the LIP which implements the storm water program. The plan became effective on July 1, 2003.

Two Major Documents Are Associated With the LIP

  • 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.
    • LIP requires various projects within the City to submit a WQMP. View the WQMP page for further instructions regarding how to prepare the WQMP report.
LIP Cover
  • 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 Cities created the DAMP, which has been in effect since 1993, with subsequent updated elements. For the latest revision of the DAMP see the County of Orange website for further information.
    • The 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, and more 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.
DAMP Cover

Keep Yourself Informed

Sign up on the Orange County Watersheds Program mailing list at the Watershed and 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.