New Storm Water Program

City of San Diego Memorandum

To: Honorable Mayor and City Council
From: Ernie Anderson, General Services Director

Frank Belock, Engineering Director
Subject: Storm Water Action Team (SWAT) Program

We are pleased to announce the implementation of a new program, effective immediately, which will significantly reduce polluted wet weather runoff from construction sites. By effectively managing existing staff and redirecting their efforts during wet weather conditions, we can achieve these initial improvements within existing resources.

The focus of this program is to broaden the training, support and expertise of the City's Resident Engineers and redirect their efforts during periods of wet weather to insure that Best Management Practices (BMPs) are being employed by contractors to the Maximum Extent Possible (MEP) at construction sites to avoid polluted runoff and that approved Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs) are being effectively implemented.

In addition to the ongoing regular training that has been implemented, the basic operational steps of this new procedure are as follows:

  • All Resident Engineers will be notified via pager when measurable rain is imminent that the SWAT Program is active.
  • The Resident Engineers will immediately focus their attention on projects that have the highest potential for sediment discharges or that are within the watershed of impaired water bodies for sediment (i.e. Los Peñasquitos Lagoon) and insure that BMPs and SWPPPs are being employed at those sites.
  • The Resident Engineers will also be responsible for exercising judgment in two primary areas:
  • If they cannot, in their judgment, cover all of the sites within their area of responsibility that have a high potential of creating significant amounts of runoff, they will call for additional resources;
  • If they are confronted with situations that require specialized storm water expertise, they will call for specialized personnel, which will be standing by.
  • This process will enable us to utilize the Resident Engineers to assess the situations in the field, which will result in more effective use of engineers with more storm water training.
  • Hossein Ruhi, Deputy Director of Field Engineering and Karen Henry, Deputy Director of the Storm Water Program will share command responsibility of the field staff each time the SWAT Program is activated.

We will incorporate the staff of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board in our ongoing training program and we anticipate continuing improvements in process and procedures as the Resident Engineers gain more experience in addressing storm water issues. The experience we gain by implementing this program now will also provide more insight into appropriate staffing levels for the future.


Approved by: George Loveland