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Construction Projects Can Cause Pollution
Demolition, soil grading, and pouring concrete are common construction activities that can send pollutants to the City’s storm drain system. Pollutants that enter the storm drain flow directly into local creeks and the San Francisco Bay, harm plants, wildlife, and people. Rainwater washes sediment and other pollutants such as paint, solvents, concrete, and oil from a construction site into the storm drain. To prevent pollutants from entering the storm drain, Best Management Practices (BMPs) must be properly maintained during construction activities.

Requirements to Prevent Pollution
State of California Requirements
Construction and/or demolition projects in San José causing land disturbances that are equal to one acre or greater must comply with State requirements that control the discharge of stormwater pollutants. Prior to start of construction/demolition, a Notice of Intent (NOI) must be filed with the State Water Board describing the project. A Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) must be developed and maintained during the project and it must include the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect water quality until the site is stabilized.

City of San José Requirements
All construction/demolition projects must comply with the City of San José’s Grading Ordinance, which requires the use of erosion and sediment controls to protect water quality while the site is under construction. Prior to the issuance of a permit for grading activity that occurs during the rainy season (October 15 to April 15), an Erosion Control Plan must be submitted to the Department of Public Works detailing Best Management Practices that will prevent the discharge of stormwater pollutants.

Stormwater Inspections & Enforcement
The City of San José regularly inspects construction sites to ensure that the projects are properly implementing Best Management Practices to protect water quality until the site is stabilized. Construction sites that are out of compliance with the San José Municipal Code will be inspected by the City more frequently and are subject to fines.

Resources for Construction Site Managers
  • Construction Industry Best Management Practices (BMPs) provide general guidance for selecting and implementing BMPs that will eliminate or reduce the discharge of pollutants from construction sites to neighboring creeks and the San Francisco Bay.
  • The CASQA Construction BMP Handbook / Portal provides detailed guidance for selecting and implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) that will eliminate or reduce the discharge of pollutants from construction sites. The handbook/portal also provides guidance on developing and implementing Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs).
  • For information on the State Construction General Permit and how to file a Notice of Intent visit the State Water Resources Control Board Construction Stormwater Program website.
  • Visit the Public Works website for information about San José’s Grading and Erosion Control program and how to obtain a grading permit.