GLOSSARY OF TERMS & ACRONYMS
permanently store many metals
from water and that release dissolved phosphorus to the water.
From the environment, surrounding on all sides (not from mankind)
Water bearing layer of the earth's crust.
Assay: Examination and determination as to characteristics (as weight, measure, or quality) analysis to determine one or more components. The
tabulated results of assaying.
Best Management Practices (BMPs): Good housekeeping solutions that include the proper handling, storage and disposal of toxic materials to
prevent stormwater pollution. BMPs can include source controls (controls that keep pollutants out of runoff) and
treatment controls (controls that remove pollutants from runoff).
Catch Basin (also known as a storm drain): Box-like underground concrete structure with openings in curbs and gutters designed to collect runoff
from streets and
Act (CWA): Federal regulation regarding pollution control for discharges to
surface waters of the United States.
Any channel or pipe for directing the flow of water.
Construction General Permit: An NPDES permit issued by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) for the discharge of stormwater
associated with construction activity
from soil disturbance of five (5) acres or more.
Any channel or pipe for collecting and directing stormwater.
Culvert: A channel or a large diameter pipe that crosses under a road, sidewalk, etc.
Reservoir designed to temporarily store stormwater.
Delta: A delta is usually a triangular alluvial deposit at the mouth of the river. The San Joaquin Delta is the convergence of the Sacramento River and the
northbound San Joaquin River which creates a 700-mile maze of waterways. The San Joaquin Delta provides the largest inland port in the state of
A release or flow of stormwater or other substance from a conveyance system or
Effluent: Waste material (as smoke, liquid industrial refuse, or sewage) discharged into the environment especially when serving as a pollutant.
Flowing out, an outgoing branch of a mainstream or lake.
The wearing away of land surface by wind or water. Erosion occurs naturally from
weather. Runoff can be intensified by land-clearing practices.
Estuary: Body of water at the lower end of a river which is connected to the ocean and is semi-enclosed by land. In an estuary, sea water is
measurably diluted by
freshwater from the land.
A substance, such as manure or chemical mixtures, that is used to make soil more
First Flush: The first big rain after an extended dry period (usually summer) which flushes out the accumulated pollutants in the storm drain system and
straight to local waterways.
Flood Control Channel: Open waterway that is designed to carry large amounts of rain water. These structures are often lined with concrete to help
control flood waters.
Area formed by the curb and the street. Helps prevent flooding by
channeling runoff to storm drains.
Hazardous Substance: Any material that poses a threat to human health and/or the environment. Typical hazardous substances are toxic, corrosive,
explosive or chemically reactive.
Hazardous Waste: By-products of society that can pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly
managed. Possesses at least one of four characteristics (flammable, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity) or appears on special
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists.
chemical substance used to kill unwanted plants and weeds.
Household Hazardous Waste: Common, every-day products that people use in and around their homes (including paint, paint thinner, herbicides and
pesticides) that, due to
their chemical nature, can be hazardous if not properly disposed.
Illicit Connection: Any connection to a storm drain system for which there is no permit or that is used for an illegal discharge. This includes, but is
not limited to: (1) any connections that convey sewage, process wastewater and wash water to the storm drain system, (2) all
connections from indoor drains or sinks, and (3) all unapproved, undocumented drains from loading docks and hazardous materials
handling areas directly connected to the storm drain system.
Illegal Discharge: Any non-stormwater flow either intentionally or inadvertently discharged to the County's storm drainage system. This does not
include discharges authorized by an NPDES permit or discharges resulting
from fire fighting activities.
Paved surface or other land cover that does not allow water to percolate into
Industrial General Permit: An NPDES permit issued by the State Water Resource Control Board for the discharge of stormwater associated with
chain and, in high enough
concentrations, can be hazardous to the environment and the public's health.
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES):
Permitting for storm & waste water systems to implement the CWA.
Non-Point Source Pollution: Pollution which does not come from a single, identifiable point, but from a number of points that are spread out and
difficult to identify
and control, such as residential neighborhoods.
Non-Stormwater Discharge: Any discharge to surface waters, storm drains, or any other stormwater drainage facility that is not composed entirely of
Examples include process wastewater, non-contact cooling waters and sanitary
Non-Stormwater Control Measure: Low technology, low cost activities, procedures or management practices designed to prevent pollutants
associated with site functions and activities from being discharged with stormwater runoff. Examples include
good housekeeping practices, employee training, standard operating practices,
inventory control measures, etc.
Notice of Intent (NOI): A formal notice to State Water Resources Control Board submitted by the owner/developer that a construction project is about
to begin. The NOI provides information on the owner, location, type of project, and certifies that the permittee will comply with
the conditions of the construction
Outfall: Opening at the end of a storm drain system that allows water to flow into a channel, lake, river, bay or ocean.
A chemical or biological agent used to kill pests.
Point Source: Any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance from which pollutants are or may be discharged. Examples include pipes, ditches,
conduits, wells, container collection systems or vessels.
Source Pollution: Pollution from a single identifiable source such as a smoke
stack or a sewage treatment plant.
Generally are substances introduced into the environment that adversely affect
the usefulness of a resource.
A human or naturally caused change in physical, chemical, or biological
conditions that result in an undesirable effect on the environment.
Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB): State agency responsible for administration and enforcement of the NPDES stormwater permits.
In the San Joaquin County, the local Regional Board is the Central Valley Regional Water Quality
Control Board, Region 5.
The storage of stormwater to prevent it from leaving the development site; may
be temporary or permanent.
Relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse or
sometimes of a lake or a tidewater.
Runoff: Water originating from rainfall and other precipitation (such as sprinklers) that is found in drainage facilities, rivers, streams, springs, seeps,
ponds, lakes, wetlands and shallow groundwater.
pipeline systems and are not connected to sanitary sewers.
Secondary Containment: Structures, usually dikes or berms, surrounding tanks or other storage containers and designed to catch spilled material
from the storage
Finely divided solids usually derived from rocks, soil, or biological materials
which are carried and deposited by stormwater.
Sedimentation: The process of depositing soil particles,
clays, sands, or other sediments that were picked up by runoff.
Silt: Sedimentary material with rock particles--soil containing 80% or more of such silt and less than 12% of clay. To become choked, filled or
obstructed with silt.
on a river.
The ability of a chemical (pollutant) to be dissolved into a solvent (water
Action to prevent pollution at its origin.
Drains (also known as drop inlet or drain inlet):
Grated or unguarded opening in or at the side of the curb or gutter into which
Storm Drain System: A vast network of underground pipes and open channels designed for flood control, which discharges directly into local
Stormwater: Rain and water from irrigation, garden hoses, or other activities that can wash materials such as motor oil, paints, fertilizers, and
pesticides off of streets, parking
lots, yards and landscapes and into the storm drain system.
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP): In compliance with a State General Permit, the SWPPP is a document which identifies sources
and activities at a particular facility that may contribute pollutants to stormwater and commits the
to specific control measures and time frames to prevent or treat such
Stream: Small natural waterway originating from underground springs, snow melt, runoff, or other natural sources which drains to lakes, rivers, channels
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL): A calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet water quality
standards. It is the sum of the allowable loads of a single pollutant from all contributing point and non-point
Treatment Control: Treatment methods to remove pollutants from stormwater.
Watershed Protection Approach (WPA): The U.S. EPA’s comprehensive approach to managing water resource areas, such as river basins,
watersheds and aquifers. WPA contains four major features – (1)Targeting priority problems,
(2)Stakeholder involvement, (3)Integrated
solutions, (4)Measuring success.
The Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program is a Program of the
San Joaquin County
Public Works Department