Most of San Francisco is served by a combined storm sewer system, where stormwater, along with residential and commercial sewage, is directed to treatment plants prior to being released to the San Francisco Bay or Pacific Ocean. There are, however, some areas in San Francisco that are served by a separate storm sewer. In these areas, stormwater that goes into street storm drains flows directly to receiving water bodies, such as the Bay, Ocean or local lakes. We have developed a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) to manage stormwater in those areas of the City that are served by separate storm and sewer collection systems.
The SWMP describes specific programs that we will implement to minimize stormwater pollution in these areas, which account for about 10% of the City. In the future, other areas that have separate storm and sewer systems, such as Mission Bay-South and Treasure Island, may also fall under this Plan, should the City and County of San Francisco assume jurisdiction over them.
Waterfront property on the east side of San Francisco, which is owned and operated by the Port of San Francisco, is also served by separate storm sewer systems. The Port of San Francisco, however, has prepared a separate Stormwater Management Plan. For more information on the Port of San Francisco SWMP, visit www.sfport.com.
The San Francisco Stormwater Management Plan has been developed, and will be implemented, to ensure that San Francisco is in compliance with State regulatory mandates. These State mandates are commonly referred to as "Phase II" regulations. The Board's approval of the SWMP means that the City and County of San Francisco has successfully obtained coverage under the State's Phase II General Permit. In accordance with State’s letter of approval, therefore, as of April 14, 2004, discharges from our Small Municipal Storm Sewer Systems (i.e., separate storm sewer areas) are authorized by the State Water Resources Control Board's Phase II General Permit.
Current Plan Status
The California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) approved the City and County of San Francisco Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) in January of 2004. Every year a SWMP Annual Report is submitted to the RWQCB to provide an update on the progress made by us in implementing the measures and programs set forth in the SWMP.