The City of Imperial Beach is located within two watersheds: the Tijuana River and the San Diego Bay. Protecting local watersheds from stormwater pollution is a priority for every City in the region. In fact, every City in California implements a Storm Water Management Program to reduce the discharge of pollutants from urban areas to protect water quality for residents, visitors, and the environment. Timely illegal discharge detection and elimination of pollution helps to keep our local waters clean and ready for recreational activities.

Local water pollution happens in different ways including: commercial activities, residential areas, construction activities, and municipal operations. The City implements pollution control activities that target each of these sources.

Commercial business activities have the potential to generate stormwater pollution if best management practices are not followed. Some businesses such as food service establishments, gas stations, and automotive repair facilities require additional activities to prevent stormwater pollution. The City helps educate and inform all our businesses about stormwater pollution through the business license program and by conducting annual inspections. We are fortunate to have great businesses in the City that work hard to maintain high-quality establishments that are both protective of the environment and good for the community. 

Preventing stormwater pollution is a shared responsibility for all residents in the City. Activities around your home are also potential sources of stormwater pollution and require good housekeeping measures to protect water quality. Common issues such as over irrigation, poorly managed trash container areas, and leaking auto fluids from older vehicles are preventable pollution sources. The City encourages every resident to do their part in keeping their property and surrounding neighborhood clean. 

Construction activities from new development projects or from home improvement projects require special consideration to prevent stormwater pollution. New development projects are required to implement specific design standards that allow rainwater to infiltrate into the ground before any water reaches the street. During construction, contractors are required to implement stormwater best management practices to prevent the runoff of sediment and other construction materials. The management actions to control stormwater pollution from construction activities are standard across the industry and integrated into the permitting process for any development in the City.

The City is also responsible for preventing stormwater pollution from our municipal areas and activities. The City conducts regular street sweeping, provides annual cleaning of the storm drain system, and implements best management practices while conducting Public Works maintenance activities. The City also maintains large-scale stormwater treatment control systems throughout the City. These include underground trash capture systems, stormwater diversion systems, and above ground stormwater retention areas. Efforts to prevent stormwater pollution is a priority for the City and all field staff in the City are trained to detect and respond to stormwater issues.

Identifying and responding to stormwater pollution is a key component of protecting water quality for our watersheds. Protecting water quality is a community effort. Residents are encouraged to report stormwater pollution or to call the City’s Environmental Division for additional information on actions that protect water quality.

Storm Water Program Questions? The Environmental and Natural Resources Division is here to help! To report stormwater violations or learn more about water quality programs in the City please don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff. Wbaldo Arellano, 619-424-4095 or email warellano@imperialbeachca.gov.

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