The Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant and the City’s urban runoff programs are operated under permit authority from regional regulatory agencies. The three permits are for the protection of local waters as well as for protection of the air. They cover:
1) discharge of treated effluent from the plant to Moffett Channel which drains to Guadalupe Slough and then to San Francisco Bay;
2) management and discharge of untreated urban stormwater runoff to the storm drain system, and
3) the air emissions from operations of the treatment plant in general, and special requirements for emissions related to power generation facilities which burn landfill gas and digester gas (a byproduct from the treatment plant) to produce electrical power.
Each of these permits is described in more detail below.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Water Pollution Control Plant
The NPDES permit issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), Region 2, regulates the discharge of treated wastewater by the Plant into Moffett Channel. This channel flows into the Guadalupe Slough, which in turn flows into the lower south bay portion of San Francisco Bay. The permit places limitations on the quantities of conventional pollutants (e.g., ammonia, suspended solids, oil and grease, turbidity, Biological Oxygen Demand) and special pollutants of concern (e.g., copper, cyanide, mercury, and nickel) that are present in the Plant's treated effluent. The permit also specifies testing, monitoring and reporting protocols to ensure that treated effluent meets permit requirements. The Plant provides compliance reports to the RWQCB on a regular basis to demonstrate its compliance with permit provisions.
A copy of the Sunnyvale NPDES permit Order No. R2-2009-0061 (adopted August 12, 2009) may be obtained by calling the Plant at (408) 730-7260, or from the RWQCB, Region 2 Web site.
For information about our Pretreatment Program or to obtain a copy of a Wastewater Discharge Permit Application please visit the WPCP Pretreatment Program.
NPDES Stormwater Permit for the City of Sunnyvale
The City of Sunnyvale is one of 76 co-permittees listed under a regional municipal stormwater permit for the San Francisco Bay. On October 14, 2009, order No. R2-2009-0074 was adopted by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) for Region 2. This permit regulates discharges from municipal separate storm drain systems into waterways under each co-permitee's jurisdiction.
The City of Sunnyvale has developed an Urban Runoff Management Plan (URMP) to reduce, control, or otherwise address pollutant sources in discharges to the storm drain system. Departments within the City of Sunnyvale have adopted Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to reduce the presence of pollutants in stormwater discharges to the maximum extent practicable.
The Sunnyvale URMP focuses on prevention of illicit connection/illegal dumping, quality of industrial and commercial discharges, and minimizing impacts from new development and construction activities. The City implements BMPs for maintaining street and roads, storm drains, and water utilities, and preventing stormwater pollution. The City also provides public education and outreach activities related to the prevention of discharges of pollutants such as pesticides, copper, mercury, and other wastes that may have an impact on water quality.
Copies of the current NPDES Stormwater permits can be downloaded from the RWQCB Web site.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District Title V Air Quality Permit
The Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant (the Plant) has a Major Facility Review Permit from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) for conducting wastewater treatment operations and the operation of its Power Generation Facility (PGF). This permit sets specific limits for emitted air pollutants that can be discharged from the combustion of landfill gas and anaerobic digester gas burned as fuel by the PGF. The BAAQMD permit requires that the PGF engines be tested annually to certify that emissions do not exceed the limits established in the permit.
A copy of the current permit may be obtained by contacting the Plant at (408) 730-7260.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Policy
The City of Sunnyvale has also established an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy to protect water quality by preventing pollution. This policy details methods of controlling pests in city-owned facilities through use of less toxic materials and methods.