Water Quality

Industrial and maritime activities at the Port of Stockton have the potential to produce many types of pollutants and the Port goes to great lengths to prevent them from reaching the surrounding waterways. Over the past five years, the Port of Stockton spent more than $5 million on storm water programs alone. The following outlines just a part of the tremendous effort the Port puts forth to protect and improve water quality.

Program Goal

To improve the quality of the waterways at and around the Port of Stockton through education, outreach, and when necessary, enforcement.

Program Accomplishments

  • The Port made structural improvements to the existing aerator at Dock 13.
  • The Port labeled 100% of the storm drains on Port property with the tag in the photo above.
  • The Port upgraded the wash pad to significantly reduce the chance of overspray and potential storm water contamination.
  • The Port installed three “Safe Drains” near the Port fueling station. In the event of a spill, these will allow for the quick closure of nearby storm drains, thereby preventing a release to the aquatic environment.
  • The Port conducted a cleanup of its East Complex; targeting illegally dumped dirt and debris piles.
  • The Port upgraded the storm water conveyance system on the East Complex by installing several check dams. These dams are designed to reduce the velocity of the storm water runoff, which dissipates some of the energy and allows solid pollutants to drop out of suspension before the water is discharged to a waterway.

Ongoing Activities

  • The Port maintains and operates two aeration facilities in the Deep Water Ship Channel to help alleviate the problems associated with low dissolved oxygen concentrations (see below for more information).
  • The Port conducts an annual Storm water Managers Workshop for Port tenants and employees, who are responsible for storm water protection at their sites. This workshop highlights new and existing storm water regulations and offers advice on how to maintain compliance.
  • The Port holds an annual Storm water Open House barbecue before the beginning of each rainy season. This event is open to all Port employees and tenants, increases awareness of the need to protect storm water and offers vendors a chance to introduce new environmental products.
  • The Port conducts a Ballast Water Inspection Program, which requires all vessels to complete a ballast water inspection log to verify that ships are making open water exchanges.
  • The Port installs and maintains sediment traps in storm drains at key locations that are most susceptible to pollution.
  • Port staff inspects all Port property daily to ensure compliance with the Port’s storm water permit.
  • The Port maintains and operates a detention pond on the Port’s East Complex that collects storm water and allows for settling and removal of contaminants before the water is released into the San Joaquin River.
  • The Port provides storm water management support and BMP assistance to tenants.

Storm Drain or Sewer Drain? Protecting Our Delta

What Can Go Down a Storm Drain? Only storm water … with a few exceptions. It’s important to know exactly what an “allowable non-storm water discharge” is and what is not. The State Water Resources Control Board has set guidelines in its Industrial General Permit. Learn more about Storm Drains vs. Sewer Drains.

(This is not a comprehensive list of allowable discharges and in no way shall be viewed as such. Please refer to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board if you have any questions)