Cleaner Rain Water Coming Our Way!
By: Andrew Walcker
The new Cal Green Building Code is to Architects as the Regional Water Board’s Order No. R8-2010-0033 / NPDES No. CAS 6180033 is to Civil Engineers! Not to be forgotten by all the anticipation of the new building code, the above mentioned revisions to Region 8’s Water Quality Management Plan will create many changes in storm water mitigation. The new order was adopted on January 29, 2010 and will come into enforcement July 29, 2011 by Riverside County Flood Control District (Principal Permittee) and all 15 cities (Co-Permittees).
What are the differences between the old and new WQMP? In a nut-shell the regulations are more stringent for treating storm water run-off. We are looking at treating for larger storm events and hydrological conditions will be scrutinized even more closely. For new projects this will mean a greater portion of the site will need to be set aside for structural Best Management Practices (BMPs). It is imperative that a civil engineer be consulted early on during the site design process to ensure that proper storm water mitigation measures can be incorporated.
What does this mean to a developer that has a project that is entitled and ready to go? If you have not pulled a grading permit by July 29, 2011 you will be required to bring the project under full compliance of the new regulations. This is a departure from how new regulations have come on board in the past as many projects that had their entitlements in place were, “Grandfathered” under Supplement “A” or their existing WQMP document. In other words, there is a great amount of work to be done if an existing project has not pulled a grading permit by the enforcement date. In order to bring a project under compliance with the new regulations, chances are good that a site re-design will need to be undertaken with the new water quality sizing requirements. This could result in a loss of density to parking spaces, units, etc. and also put a project in question of being in, “Substantial Compliance” to the approved entitlement plan.
As you can see, being pro-active today can save you and your project a lot of head-aches and money come July 29, 2011! For a sure cure to insomnia, you can reference the new order at Riverside County Flood Control’s website by following this link.