In a proactive effort to improve water quality, the City of Riverside, along with other Riverside County cities within the Santa Ana Regional Board and Riverside County, voluntarily applied for and received a permit to discharge stormwater to the Santa Ana River. This Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer Program permit (MS4), originally approved in 1990, currently is under review for its fourth term re-issuance by the Santa Ana Regional Board.
The City’s MS4 permit regulates activities related to the quality of discharge through the stormwater management program. For example, stormwater, such as rain, may travel along street gutters until it drains into a catch basin leading to a storm drain. Storm drains channel water through the city, and usually is discharged either into the Santa Ana River or towards March Air Force Base, before heading towards Lake Elsinore.
However, as you may have noticed, sometimes other stuff lands in gutters and heads towards catch basins. This stuff, whether irrigation water, trash, oil, or anything else, also travels the storm drains to the rivers and lakes. The City tries to keep street gutters and catch basins clean, in order to protect the fish, plants and other wildlife that use the river and lake water, as well as to protect the recreational uses for people.
Some of the City’s efforts include site design reviews, construction site inspections, industrial and commercial site inspections, landscape maintenance, facility management, recycling activities, hazardous and electronic waste collections, street sweeping, and traffic congestion management.