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Santa Monica, CA 90401

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Water Resources Protection: Commercial Programs

Protecting the Bay


Working together to Protect the Environment
Santa Monica Cares

Everyone in Santa Monica has a major stake in the health of our community and our environment.  This means that everyone in Santa Monica needs to be a participant in a process that protects our community's environment and helps conserve the resources we use.

Therefore, to safeguard our neighborhoods, the City requires that certain local industries participate in the program, the Water Resources Protection Program.

One of the most important programs within the Water Resources Protection Programs purview happens to be the Commercial Pretreatment Program.  The Pretreatment Program is federally mandated and all municipalities are required to implement such programs including a permitting program.

protect3 The permitting process is designed to survey and monitor industrial customers whose businesses have the potential of discharging certain types of industrial and toxic wastewater into the public water system which can include the sanitary sewer, storm drain, and ground water systems.  In other words, any business or industrial customer that has the potential to adversely affect the systems must be a participant of this program.

Sample Industrial Wastewater Permit pdf 
To provide for monitoring of industrial customers a permit is issued that establishes  discharge prohibitions and standards, Santa Monica Municipal Code Article 5/ Chapter 5.20/ Section 5.20.040 and 5.20.050 ( ) for discharges into our sewer system, and allows us, as partners, to preserve the environment through planning appropriate pretreatment techniques.  These permits also impose restrictions on water discharges into the storm drain system that drains to the Santa Monica Bay.  The commercial pretreatment program is administered by the Water Resources Protection Programs of the Environmental and Public Works Management Department.
A Supportive Staff

Our Water Resources staff constantly survey local businesses which may be affected by City, State or Federal regulations.

The information you provide us in the survey is essential to determine which, if any of our various standards apply to your particular business.  The survey and its analysis is a prerequisite to issuing a permit to our commercial customers.


If You Are One of Our Commercial Customers, Here Are Some Important Things You Should Know.

What Businesses Must Participate in Santa Monica's Pretreatment Program?
 protect6 Commercial businesses that produce toxic substances, both organic and inorganic are required to participate.  Organic toxic substances include pesticides, chlorinated solvents; inorganic toxic substances include acids and metals.  Examples of these types of industries are metal finishers, chemical manufacturers, electronic industries, auto repair, auto dealers, auto wash, auto rental, gas stations, hospitals, schools, and photo-finishing shops, clinical laboratories, dentists, doctors, chiropractors, laundries, and drycleaners.

Toxic substances these industries produce are not only difficult to treat but can also be destructive to the sewer system and hazardous to people, equipment, and the environment.  Prohibited substances also include toxic, ignitable, explosive, corrosive, and reactive materials.

Businesses such as hotel, restaurants, food markets, and bakeries are also permitted because they discharge grease in their wastewater that in excessive amounts can cause sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).  The sewage flows from a sewer manhole onto the street and into the storm drain system and can adversely impact beach water quality in Santa Monica Bay.   Please review our Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) brochure specifically designed for food establishments.
Link to FOG brochures pdf

We maintain an inventory of all commercial businesses that discharge wastewater into the sewer system as a way of preventing potential problems

What Businesses Must Participate in Santa Monica's Commercial Storm Water Program?

 protect8 As required by the State Water Resources Control Board,   certain businesses must participate in the Industrial Activities Storm Water General Permit .  Under General Permit guidelines certain classifications of businesses must register with the State and adhere to specific permit requirements related to prevention of storm water pollution.  These businesses could include: transportation facilities, vehicle maintenance yards, and manufacturing facilities.

In addition, The Los Angeles County Storm Water Permit requires member cities to inspect businesses that have the potential to generate storm water pollution by nature of their operations.  These businesses include among others: vehicle repair, food establishments, gas stations, airplane repair, vehicle rental, mobile auto detailers, and manufacturing facilities.  City staff will inspect these facilities periodically to ensure proper Best Management Practices are being implemented.

What Will My Permit Cost Me?
Industrial Waste Permits are issued based on how your business is classified. The annual fees range from $100 to $4,000 depending on the business classification.  Any questions may be directed to our staff at (310) 458-8235.

Processing Fee
Permit Application pdf
The annual permit-application fee is based on a percentage (approximately 10%) of the annual permit fee.

Pollution Prevention
The importance of pollution prevention cannot be overlooked.  By preventing pollution in the first place you can reduce your hazardous waste disposal costs and improve worker health and safety while safeguarding the health of your neighbors and the local environment.  If you are interested in greening your business you can contact Water Resources Protection Program staff.  You can also visit the following websites for the State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control  and the Western Regional Pollution Prevention Network .

Where to Get Help?
  1. City of Santa Monica Water Resources Protection Programs: (310) 458-8235
  2. In Case of an Emergency - City Fire Department: (310) 458-8660
  3. City of Santa Monica Household Hazardous Waste Facility: (310) 458-2213
  4. Environmental Programs Division: (310) 458-2255
  5. To Report Pollution - Pollution Prevention Hotline: (310) 458-8945
  6. Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC): 1-800-728- 6942 :
  7. Air Quality Management District (AQMD): 1-800-288-7664
  8. State Water Resources Control Board : (916) 657-0919 :

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