On June 15, 2012, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board (Santa Ana Water Board) adopted the Basin Plan Amendment to Revise Recreation Standards for Inland Freshwaters in the Santa Ana Region (R8-2012-0001). This Basin Plan Amendment resulted in the following key modifications to the Water Quality Control Plan for the Santa Ana River Basin (Basin Plan) for the Santa Ana region:
- Addition of “Primary Contact Recreation” as an alternative name for the REC1 (water contact recreation) beneficial use;
- Addition of narrative text clarifying the nature of REC1 activities and the bacteria objectives established to protect these activities;
- Differentiation of inland surface REC1 waters on the basis of frequency of use and other characteristics for the purposes of assigning applicable single sample maximum values;
- Revision of REC1/REC2 (non-contact water recreation) designations for specific inland surface waters based on the results of completed Use Attainability Analyses (UAA);
- Revised water quality objectives to protect the REC1 use of inland freshwaters; and
- Identification of criteria for temporary suspension of recreation use designations and objectives (high flow suspension).
Santa Ana Water Board staff developed this Basin Plan Amendment in collaboration with the Stormwater Quality Standards Task Force (SWQSTF), comprised of representatives from various stakeholder interests, including the Santa Ana Watershed Protection Authority (SAWPA); the counties of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino; Orange County Coastkeeper; Inland Empire Waterkeeper; and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9. The Basin Plan Amendment was approved by the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) on January 21, 2014 and the California Office of Administrative Law on July 2, 2014. The EPA issued its letter of approval/disapproval on April 8, 2015 and provided a letter of clarification on August 3, 2015.
Approval of this Basin Plan Amendment by EPA successfully brought to completion and conclusion the efforts of the Stormwater Quality Standards Task Force and put stakeholders on the clock to establish a comprehensive monitoring program to support implementation of the changes to the Basin Plan.
Since August 2001, SAWPA has been working with local stakeholders and the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board to address exceedences of the fecal coliform objective established to protect the REC-1 use for waterbodies located within the Middle Santa Ana River Watershed.
In January 2006, the SAWPA Commission authorized staff to serve administrator of the Middle Santa Ana River Bacterial Indicator TMDL Task Force. In its role as administrator of the Task Force, SAWPA staff provides the following services:
- a. Organize and facilitate TMDL TASK FORCE and TAC meetings,
- b. Perform secretarial, clerical and administrative services, including providing meeting summaries to TMDL TASK FORCE members,
- c. Manage TMDL TASK FORCE funds and prepare annual reports of TMDL TASK FORCE assets and expenditures,
- d. Serve as the contracting party, for the benefit of the TMDL TASK FORCE, for contracts with all consultants, contractors, vendors and other entities,
- e. Seek funding grants to assist with achieving goals and objectives of the TMDL TASK FORCE.
- f. Coordinate with other agencies and organizations as necessary to facilitate TMDL TASK FORCE work.
- g. Administer the preparation of quarterly and annual reports, as required by the TMDL Implementation Plan, and submit them as required by the TMDL Implementation Plan on behalf of the TMDL TASK FORCE.
- h. Administrator of agreements to market and administer limited-used licenses for any excess offset credits generated by TMDL Best Management Practice implementation projects.
Agendas and Meeting Materials
Regional Water Quality Monitoring Task Force meeting are conducted jointly with the Middle Santa Ana River Pathogen TMDL Task Force.
All Agendas, Meeting Notes, Handouts and Presentations associated with this effort are located on the the Middle Santa Ana River Pathogen TMDL webpage.
The Santa Ana River Bacteria Monitoring Program establishes the requirements for bacteria sampling to support the following objectives:
- Fulfill the monitoring and surveillance requirements for the 2012 adopted Basin Plan Amendment to Revise Recreation Standards for Inland Freshwaters in the Santa Ana Region (approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2015);
- Conduct sampling to support implementation of the Middle Santa Ana River (MSAR) Bacterial Indicator Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) (“MSAR Bacteria TMDL”); and
- Support any additional bacterial indicator monitoring that may be conducted in the watershed to support regional regulatory activities.
To meet these objectives, a Monitoring Plan and QAPP were developed in coordination with watershed stakeholders and submitted to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board (Santa Ana Water Board) for review and approval on February 5, 2016. After a period of public review, the Santa Ana Water Board approved the SAR Monitoring Program Monitoring Plan and QAPP on March 11, 2016.
Quality Assurance Project Plan:
Online Data Viewer:
To provide better access to the program’s data, and to streamline the interpretation of such, an online data viewer was developed that provides interactive maps, plots, and statistics. The data are updated quarterly, and the tool serves as a modern replacement for the historical pdf quarterly reports.
Use the data viewer to:
- Explore current and historical inland waters bacteria data
- Evaluate compliance with regulatory objectives
- Download data collected by the Regional Bacteria Monitoring Program
- Stay connected to your watershed
Water Quality Monitoring Reports:
FY 2021-22 Annual Monitoring Report
FY 2020-21 Annual Monitoring Report
FY 2019-20 Annual Monitoring Report
FY 2018-19 Annual Monitoring Report
FY 2017-18 Annual Monitoring Report
FY 2016-17 Annual Monitoring Report