Section 7 Consultation – Section 7 of the federal Endangered Species Act requires federal agencies to insure that actions they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of threatened or endangered species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat for these species. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) share responsibilities for administering the Act and performing the Section 7 Consultation. The opinion issued at the conclusion of consultation with FWS/NMFS will include a statement either authorizing the take of any habitat or species that may occur incidental to an otherwise legal activity or denying the activity because, as proposed, it would put the continued existence of the species in jeopardy (known as a jeopardy finding). The District usually enters Section 7 Consultations as part of the CWA Section 404 permitting process with the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
Section 18 – That portion of the District’s enabling act (passed in 1945) requiring a public hearing before any project or plan may be undertaken by the District. The Act requires that the Board of Supervisors authorize a Notice of Intention for the District project or plan, which must to be publicly advertised. After 30 days, the Board of Supervisors can hold a public hearing on the project. If the Board receives a written protest from the majority of registered voters within the District’s Zone containing the project, the Board may not proceed with the project.
Section 401 Permit – Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires that a state (California) must certify that federal licenses or permits which may result in a pollutant discharge into navigable waters (i.e. a Section 404 Permit) meet state water quality standards (including NPDES standards). The state may certify, condition or deny the proposed activity. If the state conditions the activity, those conditions must be incorporated into the Section 404 permit. In California, the Regional Water Quality Control Boards are responsible for issuing the Section 401 Water Quality Certifications.
Section 404 Permit – Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, a permit is required from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the discharge of dredged or fill material into Waters of the United States (including wetlands). Guidelines for implementation of the permit are referred to as the Section 404 (b)(1) Guidelines and were developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in conjunction with USACE. Under the USACE guidelines, any activity that disturbs wetlands areas, including flood control maintenance activities and construction of flood control facilities in Waters of the United States, can be construed as requiring a Section 404 permit. The Guidelines allow the discharge of dredged or fill material into the aquatic system only if there is no practicable alternative that would have less adverse impacts. Adverse impacts can be offset through mitigation. Mitigation commonly takes the form of the purchase of nearby lands that can be made to function as wetlands, thereby offsetting the areas disturbed by the discharge of dredged or fill materials. Section 404 also requires that federal guidelines for water quality (Section 401 Water Quality Certificate) and Endangered Species Act requirements (Section 7 Consultation) be met prior to the issuance of the permit.
Section 1601 Streambed Alteration Permit – Under this section of the Fish and Game Code, public agencies are required to notify the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) prior to any project that would divert, obstruct or change the natural flow, bed, channel, or bank of any river, stream, or lake. Preliminary notification and project review generally occurs during the environmental process. When an existing fish or wildlife resource may be substantially adversely affected, CDFG is required to propose reasonable project changes to protect the resource. These modifications are formalized in a Streambed Alteration Agreement that becomes part of the plans, specifications and bid documents for the project.
Separate Application – An application for development within a FEMA mapped floodplain or an Ordinance 458 floodplain. This application is required for developments that are not otherwise conditioned to meet floodplain ordinances through the usual land division process or that are not covered by other ordinances. Special Applications are generally required for projects that can be approved through grading or building permit only. These projects include things like construction or remodeling of a single custom home on an existing lot.
Soffit – The highest point of the interior of the storm drain pipe.
Soils Compaction – The densification of soils by the application of energy, usually mechanical energy (mechanical compaction). Soils are compacted to increase stability, enhance resistance to erosion, decrease permeability and decrease compressibility. This is usually accomplished by placing the soil in shallow lifts (layers) up to eight inches thick, then using heavy mechanical equipment to compress the lifts. The equipment usually applies energy to the soil by static loading, impact, vibration or kneading action. The type of compaction depends on the type of soil and the purpose of the soil compaction.
Soils Investigation – An investigation of the geotechnical characteristics of the project site. The District usually enters contracts for geotechnical work with private geotechnical firms. Geotechnical studies vary with the objective of the project, but are generally accomplished by taking samples from soils borings or trenches. Soils investigations usually provide guidelines for temporary excavations, for suitability of soils for pipe bedding and trench backfill and for various soils design parameters such as allowable bearing pressure and lateral earth pressure. Soils investigations are also used to assess the suitability of soils for special construction techniques such as Cast-In-Place-Pipe (CIPP) placement.
Special Provisions – This portion of the Specification and Contract Document covers those items of the contract between the District and the Contractor that are unique to this project. They include items such as the expected time of completion, site maintenance, work hours, any encroachment permits or interagency agreements that the contractor must abide by and any special state or federal requirements that the contractor must abide by. Other items could include minimum notification times required to obtain the services of a District Surveying team, required disposal sites for excess materials or contaminated materials and location of project signs. It could also specify the authority of the District to select from multiple construction options for a particular portion of the project by some predefined point in time during the construction process.
Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) – A darkly shaded area on a FIRM or Flood Hazard Boundary Map, FHBM, identifying an area with a one percent chance of being flooded in any given year; hence the property is in the 100- year floodplain.
Specifications and Contract Document – This document is prepared by the Project Engineer in the Design Engineering Section. The Document is a complete description of the project to be constructed, including contractual obligations of the District and Contractor as well as the estimated time, costs, and methods and materials of construction to be used. It contains the general provisions, the special provisions, the detailed specifications and the drawings (plans) that detail the project to be constructed. This document is used by contractors interested in bidding on the project to determine their probable cost of construction, it is used by the inspectors to police and control the project construction and it is used by the surveyors to place the survey control necessary to align and construct the project.
Stage – The river stage is the height of the water in the river, measured relative to an arbitrary fixed point.
Standard Plans – Details of standard structures, devices or instructions referred to on the Plans or in the Specifications, usually by title or number. Standard Plans are plans for structures that are commonly constructed in a way that can be described generically. Examples of structures that have “standard plans” are catch basins, channel sections and street sections. There are many different sources of standard plans. The District has a set of Standard Plans for Drainage Structures. CalTrans has a set of Standard Plans for Freeway Construction (which also includes some standards for drainage structures), the Public Works Standards Association also produces a set of Standard Plans for general construction project items. Depending on the structure and location, the District can and does reference several of these Standard Plans in the Specification and Contract Documents. It is not uncommon, though, that District projects will require modifications or abandonment of a standard plan due to site constraints. In these cases, the District’s Design Engineers will create and specify a specific design for that particular structure.
Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction – Commonly referred to as the “Greenbook”, or “Standard Specifications” this document was originally published in 1967. The last 10 editions were produced by a joint committee of the Southern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association and the Southern California Districts of the Associated General Contractors of California. Since 1996, the manual has been produced by the Public Works Standards, Inc., a corporation headed by members of a number of public works associations. The book provides standard language for the general provisions of contract documents; standard criteria and testing methods for construction materials and standards for construction methods. The District generally references these standards in our Specifications and Contract Documents.
Standard Specifications of the State of California, Department of Transportation – Commonly referred to as “State Standard Specifications”, this manual is prepared by Caltrans. It provides alternative, but similar, standards for construction methods and materials. The District usually references the State Standard Specifications when we are constructing projects that are within Caltrans Rights of Way or when we use Caltrans Standard Plans for the design of specific facilities (i.e. reinforced concrete box). State Plane Coordinate Systems – A plane-rectangular coordinate system established by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, one established for each state, used for converting position on the earth’s curved surface to planar x and y coordinates. The system allows surveyors to use plane surveying methods over great distances. The system in each state is divided into zones. Riverside County is in Zone VI of the California Coordinate System. The x and y coordinate points are generally referenced to a geodetic horizontal datum known as the North American Datum (NAD).
Storm Drain – An underground pipe used to convey runoff from urban areas to an adequate outlet. An adequate outlet can be a connection to a larger flood control facility or an outlet into an existing watercourse, such as the Santa Ana River, that has adequate conveyance capacity for the flow tributary to it. Storm drains are usually designed using specialized hydraulic software such as WSPGW. Analysis of storm drain capacity requires knowledge or estimation of downstream and/or upstream water surface elevations, material type, pipe slopes and diameter, inlet locations and flow rates.
Storm Water – is as defined urban runoff and snowmelt runoff consisting only of those discharges which originate from precipitation events. Storm water is that portion of precipitation that flows across a surface to the storm drain system or receiving waters. Examples of this phenomenon include: the water that flows off a building’s roof when it rains (runoff from an impervious surface); the water that flows into streams when snow on the ground begins to melt (runoff from a semi-pervious surface); and the water that flows from a vegetated surface when rainfall is in excess of the rate at which it can infiltrate into the underlying soil (runoff from a pervious surface). When all factors are equal, runoff increases as the perviousness of a surface decreases. During precipitation events in urban areas, rain water picks up and transports pollutants through storm water conveyance systems, and ultimately to waters of the United States.
Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) – A plan required by and for which contents are specified in the State of California General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Industrial Activities, and the General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activities. The purpose of the plan is to help identify the sources of pollution that affect the quality of storm water discharges from a site and to describe and ensure the implementation of practices to reduce pollutants in storm water discharges.
Structural Floodplain Management Controls – The use of dams, levees, channels, storm drains or other flood control devices to confine and direct flows away from people and property. This has been the historically preferred method of protecting residents in urbanized floodplains.
Subcritical Flow – A flow condition where the velocity is less than the critical velocity and the depth is greater than the critical depth.
Supercritical Flow – A flow condition where the velocity is greater than the critical velocity and the depth is less than the critical depth.
Synthetic Unit Hydrograph Method – A method that estimates the amount and pattern of runoff due to a "unit" of rainfall flowing into the watershed over a certain period of time. The pattern is than factored according to the amount of rainfall that actually fell for the time period. These individual patterns are then added for each time step to get the cumulative hydrograph from each basin.
Specific Plan – A tool authorized by Government Code §65450 et seq. for the systematic implementation of the general plan for a defined smaller portion of a community's planning area. A specific plan must specify in detail the development standards and requirements relating to density, lot size and shape, sitting of buildings, setbacks, circulation, drainage, landscaping, architecture, water, sewer, public facilities, grading, open space, financing and any other element needed for proper development of the property.
Subdivision Map Act – gives the local agency the authority to regulate and control the design and improvement of the subdivisions within its jurisdiction. Each city/county must adopt an ordinance regulating and controlling subdivisions, in Riverside County it’s Ordinance 460. The Map Act sets forth certain mandates that must be followed for subdivision processing. It defines what tentative maps, final maps and parcel maps are. It establishes development rights. It establishes procedures for the filing of maps, review of maps, exaction of dedications, imposition of fees, posting of improvement securities, and monuments. A local agency may impose conditions on the subdivision process when the map act is silent.