The West Valley Clean Water Program Authority
The West Valley Clean Water Program Authority (Authority) serves as the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Authority for the cities of Campbell, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and the Town of Los Gatos. The Authority was created to maximize the effectiveness, efficiency, and cost-benefit of collective stormwater pollution prevention efforts of the four West Valley communities. The Authority was formally established in February 2018 but has been operating as a collaborative stormwater management program since 1992.
Stormwater runoff is water that flows into gutters and storm sewers and empties into our local creeks and ultimately flows to the San Francisco Bay. This water is collectively known as “stormwater” or “urban runoff.” Stormwater carries with it pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that are present on impervious surfaces like:
- Parking lots
Because of this, stormwater pollution management is necessary to protect habitat, public health and recreation, and other beneficial uses of the local creeks, lakes, wetlands, and the San Francisco Bay.
The West Valley Communities
The West Valley refers to a portion of the Santa Clara Valley in Santa Clara County, California. It lies in the southwest portion of the valley and includes the cities of Campbell, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, and the Town of Los Gatos. Collectively, the cities/town have a combined population of just over 100,000 and include the Guadalupe, Calabazas, and San Tomas Aquino Creek watersheds. The West Valley is primarily suburban/residential and Campbell, Los Gatos, and Saratoga have vibrant downtown retail districts.
Stormwater or urban runoff discharges are regulated by the 1972 Federal Clean Water Act (CWA), through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) regulates the discharge of pollutants in stormwater through NPDES stormwater discharge permits. The most recent permit, reissued in 2022, is referred to as the Municipal Regional Stormwater NPDES Permit (MRP). The Authority’s member agencies must comply with the NPDES stormwater permit, which mandates certain activities including maintenance of the stormwater drain system.
The Authority develops an annual work plan to fulfill the requirements of its MRP and to reduce the amount of pollutants discharged in urban runoff. The plan is a comprehensive program that is designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable and encompasses best practices for the following operational areas:
- Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
- Commercial Facilities
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Industrial Facilities
- Municipal Operations/Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping
- Post Construction Storm Water Management
- Public Education
- Public Participation
The Authority Infographic provides greater details on what the focused programs include. You can also view the Annual Work Plan.
Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Program
The Authority also participates in the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Program (Program). The Program is an association of thirteen cities and towns in Santa Clara Valley, the County of Santa Clara, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District that share a common permit to discharge stormwater to South San Francisco Bay. Member agencies include Campbell, County of Santa Clara, Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Saratoga, and Sunnyvale.