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Pollution Prevention

The mission of the Stormwater Management Program is to maintain and promote the quality of water and environmental resources for the citizens of Mission Viejo and to ensure compliance with water quality regulations.

The Stormwater Management section of the City of Mission Viejo Public Works Department is responsible for overall management of stormwater quality issues in the City of Mission Viejo.  Through public education and outreach, the Stormwater Management section ensures that all residents, businesses, and municipal departments are familiar with federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to stormwater quality issues, and comply with those laws and regulations.  If you have questions or concerns regarding stormwater issues, contact the Public Works Department at 949-470-3056 or publicworks@cityofmissionviejo.org.

Did you know it's the law?  If you live in southern Orange County, runoff from landscape irrigation that enters streets and catch basins is prohibited.

Commercial and Industrial

All commercial and industrial businesses operating within the City of Mission Viejo must implement pollution control measures.  Every day, business operations have the ability to come in contact with stormwater, such as material handling and storage.  It is the responsibility of the business owner and employees to ensure that their activities are not negatively impacting the environment.

The City of Mission Viejo inspects commercial and industrial facilities and provides stormwater best management practices (BMP) education and enforcement, if necessary.  All businesses operating within the City of Mission Viejo must comply with Mission Viejo Municipal Code Section 6.65, Stormwater Management and Discharge Control.

BMP Fact Sheets

Educational Materials



Facilities that are subject to the requirements of the State General Industrial Storm Water Permit must file either a Notice of Intent or must file a No Exposure Certification.  For more information, please visit the California State Water Resources Control Board.

Development and Construction

New development and construction projects are required to minimize impacts on receiving water quality by incorporating Best Management Practices (BMPs) specific to both the construction and post-construction phases of the project.  New development and redevelopment projects are required to minimize the impacts on receiving water quality by incorporating pollution prevention measures in their project design.  Projects proponents must implement Low Impact Development (LID), source control, and treatment control BMPs.  The City's Local Implementation Plan, South Orange County Model Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP), South Orange County Technical Guidance Document (TGD), and the South Orange County Hydromodification Management Plan (HMP) detail the project design requirements for each type of project.  The WQMP, TGD, and HMP are collectively the BMP Design Manual for the City of Mission Viejo.  Construction projects of one acre or more are also regulated under the State Construction Permit.  Developers are required to submit a Notice of Intent and prepare a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).  Construction sites less than one acre are regulated by the construction component Municipal Stormwater Permit.  The City’s Local Implementation Plan details requirements for each type of project.  Mission Viejo City staff regularly inspect construction sites and provide stormwater BMP education and enforcement if necessary.

Development and Construction Documents

Mobile Businesses

The City requires all mobile businesses to implement best management practices (BMPs) in order to reduce the discharge of stormwater pollutants into storm drains.  Categories listed below are considered mobile businesses.


General Types of Businesses/SIC Codes

Mobile automobile or other vehicle washing Auto washing/detailing, boat washing
Pest control services 7342
Mobile carpet, drape or furniture cleaning 7217
Construction Cement mixing or cutting; masonry; painting and coating
General building contractors
Heavy construction
Special trade contractors (plumbing, heating/AC, electrical, carpentry, roofing)
1500s, 1600s, 1700s
Landscaping Lawn and garden services, ornamental shrub and tree services
782, 783
Pool and fountain cleaning 7349
Portable sanitary services  
Mobile pet services 750, 752
Surface cleaners Power-sweeping services (driveways, parking lots)
Power-washing services (building exteriors)
Pressure-washing services (buildings, decks, fences)
Steam-cleaning services (building exteriors)
Washing services (driveways, parking lots)
4959, 7349

Educational Materials


Our Watersheds

Simply put, a watershed is an area of land that catches rain and snow and drains or seeps into a marsh, creek, river, lake or groundwater.  Homes, farms, forests, small towns, and big cities can make up watersheds.  Some watersheds cross county, state, and even international borders. Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are millions of square miles while others are just a few acres. Just as creeks drain into rivers, watersheds are nearly always part of a larger watershed.  In Orange County there are 13 different watersheds that all eventually drain, through a network of rivers and creeks, to the Pacific Ocean.  These creeks and rivers are also known as tributaries.  Mission Viejo is a part of two watersheds—Aliso Creek Watershed and San Juan Creek Watershed.

Everyone lives in a watershed. What you and others do on the land impacts the quality and quantity of water and our other natural resources.  Managing the water and other natural resources is an effective and efficient way to sustain the local economy and environmental health.  Along with public education efforts, the City of Mission Viejo is working with the other cities that make up our watersheds to develop plans to better protect and manage our waterways.  Please continue to do your part by following the tips for household, landscape, and auto maintenance that the City has provided in numerous publications.

Aliso Creek Watershed

The northern tip of the City is located in the Aliso Creek Watershed. The Aliso Creek Watershed covers 30.4 square miles and includes portions of the cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach, Lake Forest, and Mission Viejo. Its main tributary, Aliso Creek, originates in the Santa Ana Mountains inside the boundaries of the Cleveland National Forest. Smaller tributaries include Wood Canyon, Sulphur Creek, the Aliso Hills Channel, and English Canyon Channel.  English Canyon is the main route for water flowing through Mission Viejo. 

Each of us can affect the quality of that water by our everyday habits.  Find out what you can do to protect our waterways. 

San Juan Creek Watershed

About 80% of the City is located in the San Juan Creek Watershed.  The San Juan Creek Watershed covers 133.9 square miles and includes portions of the cities of Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and San Juan Capistrano. Its main tributary, San Juan Creek, originates in the Santa Ana Mountains district of the Cleveland National Forest in the easternmost part of Orange County. The Arroyo Trabuco and Oso Creek are smaller tributaries. Oso Creek is the main route for water flowing through Mission Viejo. 

Each of us can affect the quality of that water by our everyday habits.  Learn what you can do to protect our waterways.

Residents: What You Need to Know

Even if you live miles from the Pacific Ocean, the actions you take at home and at work can affect our waterways all the way from our creeks to the ocean.  Most people believe that the largest source of water pollution comes from specific sources like factories, businesses, or sewage treatment plants.  In fact, the largest source of water pollution comes from city streets, neighborhoods, construction sites and parking lots. 

Did you know that when you wash your car in the street or driveway, you’re sending detergents and other chemicals into the creek and on to the ocean?  Did you know that when fertilizer is washed into our storm drain system, it causes an overgrowth of plant life that could clog pipes, disrupt drainage, and kill aquatic life?

Please take a moment to look over the following information.  You will learn about better choices for activities that take place at your home every day.

Residential Best Management Practices

Educational Material 

Residential Brochures:



Regulatory Information and Reports

California Regional Water Quality Control Board—San Diego Region


MV Life

The MV Life app has been updated!  Keep your finger on the pulse of Mission Viejo.

Get timely information about news, events, and recreation so you can savor the good life in Mission Viejo.

Don’t delay in downloading this app today to take advantage of all this great community has to offer.

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