Urban Runoff Management

The mission of the City’s Urban Runoff Management Program is to maintain and promote quality of surface water for the citizens of Laguna Niguel and to ensure compliance with the surface water quality regulations. The goal is to protect the quality of water in our creeks and ocean by prohibiting polluted and illicit discharges, e.g. over-irrigation runoff, into the storm drain system and by reducing the pollution load carried into the City’s storm drain system during rain events.

This Environmental Program of the City’s Public Public Works Department is responsible for overall management of stormwater quality issues in the City. Through public education and outreach, the Stormwater Management Program ensures that all residents, businesses, Homeowners Associations (HOAs), and municipal departments are familiar with federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to stormwater quality issues.

The City of Laguna Niguel Community Development Department enforces and implements the City’s Water Quality Ordinance and Municipal Code related to the Water Quality and ensures all residents, businesses, and HOAs, comply with those laws and regulations.  

Report a Discharge

Federal, State, and local laws prohibit the dumping or discharge of anything, including water runoff, to the storm drain system, with only a few exceptions. To report an illicit discharge, including but not limited to water from landscape over-irrigation, construction works, pressure wash of operation yards, washing of tools and parts, and etc.  please contact Public Works Department at  (949) 362-4337 or use "Report a Problem" online system.

Local and Regional Regulatory Background

The Urban Runoff Management Program is a requirement of the South Orange County National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit issued by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board. The permit, known as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, regulates stormwater runoff from urbanized areas in the San Diego Region which includes South Orange County and the City of Laguna Niguel.

The MS4 permit also requires the development and implementation of a Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP) for "Watershed Management Areas." The South OC WQIP identifies high priority water quality conditions and sets goals, strategies, and schedules to address them. Monitoring the progress and effectiveness of the strategies informs an "adaptive management" approach to updating and amending the plan over time.

The City’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP) for Jurisdictional Runoff Management Program (JRMP) documentation is a City-specific document periodically updated as the requirements of the permit evolve.

Helpful Links

Best Management Practices for Residents and Businesses 

Construction Sites Stormwater Requirements 

New Development Stormwater Requirements

Over-Irrigation Prevention

H2O for HOAs Event

Federal and State Water Quality Laws