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Protected source water is a key component to the economical production of potable water that meets all local, state and federal drinking water requirements. The passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1972, has led to dramatic increases in the water quality of the Nation's streams and rivers. However, degraded water bodies still exist. According to the 1996 United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) National Water Quality Inventory, approximately 40 percent of the U.S. waters surveyed are considered to be impaired with at least one of a wide variety of pollutants. Stormwater runoff represents a significant source of this contamination. The Mokelumne River, located east of Lodi, California, drains a portion of the central western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Sacramento Delta and serves as a source of water supply for a large portion of the state.

As part of the USEPA's Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), Black & Veatch completed a Phase II permit application and Stormwater Management Plan for the City of Lodi (City). The goal of the plan is to minimize the impact of storm drainage on the Mokelumne River water quality. In order to accomplish this goal, the program is designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP), protect water quality, and satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the CWA. The plan includes the development of Best Management Practices (BMPs) in each of six categories, an implementation schedule, and measurable goals to help the City ensure that stormwater discharged is of the highest quality that is economically possible.

Pollutants are deposited on the ground surface through a variety of urban activities and transported to nearby rivers and streams during periods of rainfall. Common pollutants found in stormwater addressed with BMPs include pesticides, herbicides, microbiological contaminants, sediments, nutrients, and heavy metals.

While the program was developed with CWA requirements in mind, it also represents a nexus with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The 1996 Amendments to the SDWA emphasize community-empowered source water assessment and protection. The steps the City is taking to limit stormwater runoff into local water bodies offers water quality protection to downstream drinking water users.

The development of the BMPs and an implementation schedule gives the City the guidance they need to take the steps necessary to ensure that the Mokelumne River water will be a protected source, suitable for drinking water supply for years to come.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2004

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