Stormwater

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The Public Works Department's - Environmental Programs and Operations Division manages the urban runoff and stormwater permit (MS4) for the City of Culver City. 

The City is required to comply with the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit issued by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (LA RWQCB). The MS4 permit requires the City to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) that would improve water quality in the Ballona Creek Watershed. The City joined the Ballona Creek Watershed Management Group (BC WMG) along with the cities of Beverly Hills, Inglewood, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

To meet water quality requirements, the BC WMG drafted the Ballona Creek Enhanced Watershed Management Program (BC-EWMP) which addresses water quality issues by implementing institutional and infrastructure BMPs such as green streets and regional projects. Green streets and regional projects are designed to capture and treat runoff from all drainage areas in the Ballona Creek Watershed. To be in compliance, all agencies, including the City of Culver City, are required to manage runoff volume by implementing green streets or centralized regional projects.

The City will need to manage an equivalent volume of 99 acre-feet of runoff per storm event to meet water quality goals per BC-EWMP. The following is the recommended breakdown to achieve compliance:

  • 62 ac-ft. from Regional Projects
  • 20 ac-ft. from Green Streets
  • 17 ac-ft. from Low Impact Development Projects

Based on planning estimates from the BC- EWMP, the City will need to invest approximately $140 million in implementation of capital stormwater projects to meet water quality compliance. Understanding the magnitude of compliance, on November 8, 2016, Culver City residents approved Measure CW, the Clean Water, Clean Beach Parcel Tax.  The Measure established a dedicated fund source to improve water quality in Ballona Creek, Marina del Rey, Santa Monica Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.  

The latest MS4 Permit was adopted by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board on November 8, 2012, and became effective December 28, 2012. In addition to the LACFCD and County, the Permit is also issued to 84 municipalities within the County (the cities of Palmdale, Lancaster, Avalon, and Long Beach are excluded). Each Permittee is responsible for implementing its own stormwater program. 

The new MS4 Permit presents major challenges including extensive monitoring requirements and the incorporation of 33 Total Maximum Daily Load regulations (learn more about TMDLs).

The new MS4 Permit also represents a shift in the way stormwater is regulated in the region. For the first time, a stormwater permit provides Permittees with incentives for integrated water planning. By combining water supply and water quality planning, Permittees can attract funding partners to build projects with multiple benefits.  This new approach and look forward to working with stakeholders and partners to find, plan, and build exciting projects in the coming years.

Enhanced Watershed Management Programs and Coordinated Integrated Monitoring Plans

Ballona Creek

Enhanced Watershed Management Program for the Ballona Creek Watershed

Coordinated Integrated Monitoring Program (CIMP) for the Ballona Creek Watershed

Marina Del Rey

Marina del Rey Enhanced Watershed Management Program Plan

Marina del Rey Coordinated Integrated Monitoring Program