This project supports Valley Water’s continued participation in the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program (SCVURPPP) and South County stormwater programs. These programs enable Valley Water to reduce stormwater pollution through technical support and regional leadership. In addition, this project supports stormwater pollution prevention activities in South County Watersheds and green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). GSI allows rainwater runoff from roads, parking lots and other impervious surfaces to soak into the ground and be filtered by soil rather than discharge into storm drains that transport the water to creeks.
The project allows Valley Water to participate in the regulatory development process related to stormwater by participating in stormwater permit re-issuance and providing review, analysis and comments on various water quality regulatory efforts. This project also allows Valley Water to collaborate with local agencies on public education and outreach activities to help prevent urban runoff pollution at the source.
Multi-benefit projects, such as green stormwater infrastructure, are important strategies to address water quality. Green infrastructure uses plants to soak water into the ground, which slows down, spreads and helps absorb rainwater instead of having it go down a storm drain. This improves water quality, can increase groundwater supplies and reduces peak flows to a creek.
Trash capture devices
- There are four trash capture devices (booms) operated in Santa Clara County
- Thompson Creek upstream of Tully Rd., San José
- Lower Silver Creek near King Rd. and Schulte Dr., San José
- Matadero Creek at West Bayshore Rd., Palo Alto
- Adobe Creek at East Bayshore Rd., Palo Alto
- The City of Palo Alto manages the trash booms in Matadero and Adobe Creeks under an agreement with Valley Water, which was recently extended for an additional ten years and modified to allow the booms to remain deployed all year long.
- Trash booms managed by the City of Palo Alto in Matadero and Adobe Creeks are currently deployed under the joint agreement.
- The trash booms currently deployed in Thompson Creek and Lower Silver Creek are managed by Valley Water.
- Valley Water regularly inspects trash booms while deployed, and trash is removed as needed.
Municipal stormwater compliance program
- Valley Water is maintaining the program as required by the Municipal Regional Stormwater National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit (MRP).
- The most recent MRP became effective July 1, 2022 and will remain in effect through at least June 30, 2027. Staff continues to review Valley Water practices and procedures to ensure compliance with permit provisions and collaborates with local and regional partners to satisfy regional requirements.
- Valley Water submitted the FY 2022-2023 Municipal Regional Stormwater Annual Report to the Water Board. Visit Reports & Documents to view a copy of the report.
- Valley Water maintains North County partnerships through participation in the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program (SCVURPPP). Valley Water staff chairs the SCVURPPP Management Committee.
- Valley Water participates in various regional stormwater workgroups in cooperation with SCVURPPP and other countywide stormwater organizations.
- Valley Water maintains South County partnerships by participating in the South County Stormwater Coordination Committee. The committee includes representatives from Valley Water, the County and the cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill. The committee meets regularly to discuss pollution prevention, stormwater permit compliance and other relevant issues.
- Valley Water Staff facilitates and moderates the Pajaro River Watershed Bacteria TMDL Workgroup, arranging and facilitating meetings, coordinating agendas, and recording meeting minutes for the participating agencies.
- Valley Water serves on several California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) subgroups with representatives from around California dealing with stormwater issues of common concern.
Stormwater Quality Improvement Activities
South County Pet Waste Outreach
- Valley Water continues to work with Santa Clara County and the cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy to conduct the South County Pet Waste Outreach project. The most recent effort included production of a postcard-sized outreach flyers for distribution at local veterinary clinics, boarding facilities, pet stores, and during outreach events in Morgan Hill and Gilroy.
South County Nutrient Program
- Valley Water conducted a spatial analysis of South County agricultural parcels to identify farms at high risk for nutrient and pesticide pollution in an effort to reduce nutrient loading in the Uvas/Llagas Watershed. The analyses, funded by the 2012 Safe, Clean Water Program, considered a robust collection of attributes, including predicted nitrate concentrations in shallow groundwater, crop and irrigation type and soil erosivity. Valley Water continues to evaluate the next steps to implement projects alongside South County Partners and Central Coast Regional Water Board Staff.
FY22-36 Key Performance Indicators for the Safe, Clean Water Program
Address trash in creeks by maintaining trash capture devices or other litter control programs.
Maintain Valley Water’s municipal stormwater compliance program and partner with cities to address surface water quality improvements, including participation in at least three (3) countywide, regional, or statewide stormwater program committees to help guide regulatory development, compliance, and monitoring.
Support at least one (1) stormwater quality improvement activity per 5-year implementation period in Santa Clara County, including providing up to $1.5 million over 15 years to support implementation of green stormwater infrastructure consistent with Santa Clara Basin and South County Stormwater Resource Plans.
Partners with municipalities and other agencies to reduce contaminants in stormwater and improve surface water quality in our streams, reservoirs, lakes and wetlands
Maintains Valley Water compliance with the Regional Water Quality Control Board requirements in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits
Allows continued participation in SCVURPPP and South County urban runoff programs
Allows Valley Water to help direct required monitoring efforts in ways that benefit Valley Water programs and projects
Promotes stormwater pollution prevention
Facilitates collaboration with partners on stormwater projects that provide multiple benefits and support Valley Water’s mission
Addresses climate change
Geographic Area of Benefit
About the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program
In November 2020, voters in Santa Clara County overwhelmingly approved Measure S, a renewal of Valley Water’s Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.
The program was first passed by voters in 2000 as the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan, then again in 2012 as the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program. The renewal of the Safe, Clean Water Program will continue to provide approximately $47 million annually for local projects that deliver safe, clean water, natural flood protection, and environmental stewardship to all the communities we serve in Santa Clara County.
While evaluating ways to improve the 2012 program, Valley Water gathered feedback from more than 21,000 community members. That helped Valley Water create the six priorities for the renewed Safe, Clean Water Program, which are:
- Priority A: Ensure a Safe, Reliable Water Supply
- Priority B: Reduce Toxins, Hazards and Contaminants in our Waterways
- Priority C: Protect our Water Supply and Dams from Earthquakes and Other Natural Disasters
- Priority D: Restore Wildlife Habitat and Provide Open Space
- Priority E: Provide Flood Protection to Homes, Businesses, Schools, Streets and Highways
- Priority F: Support Public Health and Public Safety for Our Community
Each year, Valley Water prepares a report providing a progress update for each of these program priorities, along with fiscal year accomplishments.
To ensure transparency and accountability to the voters, the ballot measure also created an Independent Monitoring Committee, appointed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors. The Independent Monitoring Committee annually reviews the program’s progress to ensure the outcomes are achieved in a cost-efficient manner and reports its findings to the Board. Additionally, the IMC also reviews each proposed 5-year implementation plan prior to its submittal for Board approval.
In addition, the program requires three independent audits.