Project Planning and Design Guide

The Project Planning and Design Guide (PPDG) provides guidance on the process and procedures for evaluating project scope and site conditions to determine the need for and feasibility of incorporating Best Management Practices (BMPs) into projects within Caltrans right-of-way. It provides design guidance for incorporating those stormwater quality controls into projects during the planning and project development process.

The PPDG supersedes prior stormwater design guidance manuals and has been prepared in support of the Statewide Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP). The document addresses key regulatory, policy and technical requirements by providing direction on the procedures to incorporate stormwater BMPs into the design of all Caltrans projects. In addition to the direction provided in the PPDG, the user is expected to apply their own engineering knowledge and judgement when evaluating and designing stormwater BMPs.

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All PPDG Chapters - Complete Download Version (Updated April 2019) (PDF)

Table of Contents

  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
    • 1.1 Overview
    • 1.2 BMP Selection and Project Development Process
    • 1.3 Stormwater Guidance Documents .
    • 1.4 Regulations and Permits
    • 1.4.1 Federal Regulations
    • 1.4.2 Caltrans NPDES Statewide Stormwater Permit
    • 1.4.2.1 Hydromodification/Rapid Stability Assessment (RSA)
    • 1.4.3 Caltrans Statewide Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP)
    • 1.4.4 Construction General Permit (CGP)
    • 1.4.4.1 Rainfall Erosivity Waiver
    • 1.4.5 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)
    • 1.4.6 Water Pollution Control Program (WPCP)
    • 1.4.7 Additional Requirements
    • 1.5 Permit and SWMP Implementation
    • 1.5.1 District Work Plans (DWP)
  • Chapter 2: Design Program Responsibilities
    • 2.1 Introduction to Design Program Responsibilities
    • 2.2 Management
    • 2.3 Stormwater Advisory Teams (SWATs)
    • 2.4 Stormwater Coordinators
    • 2.5 Responsibilities as They Relate to Encroachment Permits and Third-Party Activities
    • 2.6 Responsibilities for Coordination with Municipal Stormwater Permittees (Local Agencies)
    • 2.7 Consultation with Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs) and Local Regulatory Agencies
    • 2.8 Staff and Functional Units
    • 2.8.1 Staff
    • 2.8.2 District Functional Units
  • Chapter 3: Best Management Practices Overview
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Identification of Water Quality Requirements for Project Planning Purposes
    • 3.2.1 State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs)
    • 3.2.2 Resources for Identifying Pollution Control Requirements
    • 3.2.2.1 Regional Water Quality Control Board Basin Plans
    • 3.2.2.2 Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and 303(d) Lists
    • 3.2.2.3 401 Certifications and Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs)
    • 3.2.3 Stormwater Documents
    • 3.2.4 Targeted Design Constituents (TDC)
    • 3.2.5 Pollutants of Concern
    • 3.2.5.1 Solids (Suspended and Dissolved)
    • 3.2.5.2 Nutrients
    • 3.2.5.3 Pesticides (incl. Herbicides)
    • 3.2.5.4 Metals (Particulate and Dissolved)
    • 3.2.5.5 Pathogens and Bacteria
    • 3.2.5.6 Litter/Trash
    • 3.2.5.7 Biochemical Oxygen Demand
    • 3.2.5.8 Turbidity
    • 3.2.5.9 Temperature
    • 3.2.5.10 Mercury
    • 3.2.5.11 Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)
    • 3.3 Best Management Practices
    • 3.3.1 Design Pollution Prevention (DPP) Best Management Practices
    • 3.3.2 Treatment Best Management Practices
    • 3.3.3 Construction Site Best Management Practices
    • 3.3.4 Maintenance Best Management Practices
  • Chapter 4: Treatment Considerations
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 Treatment Objectives
    • 4.3 Project Evaluation Process
    • 4.4 Treatment Areas
    • 4.4.1 Additional Treated Area (ATA)
    • 4.4.2 Treatment Area Example
    • 4.5 Alternative Compliance
    • 4.6 TMDL Watersheds and Compliance Units (CUs)
  • Chapter 5: Permanent BMP Strategy
    • 5.1 Introduction and Objectives
    • 5.2 Site Design and Design Pollution Prevention (DPP) Best Management Practices
    • 5.2.1 Evaluation of Design Pollution Prevention (DPP) Infiltration Areas for Treatment
    • 5.3 Treatment Best Management Practices Design Consideration
    • 5.3.1 Site-Specific Determination of Feasibility
    • 5.3.2 Treatment BMP Use and Placement Considerations
    • 5.3.3 Determining Water Quality Volume (WQV) and Water Quality Flows (WQF)
    • 5.3.3.1 Volumetric Runoff Coefficient for Calculating Water Quality Volume
    • 5.3.3.2 Water Quality Volume and Water Quality Flow Combined Mechanism for Treatment
    • 5.3.3.3 Water Quality Flows (WQF)
    • 5.3.4 Selection Prioritization of Treatment BMPs
    • 5.3.5 Incorporation of Non-Approved Treatment BMPs
    • 5.4 Documenting Treatment
  • Chapter 6: Stormwater Data Report Development Process
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 Project Types, Scopes, and Magnitude
    • 6.3 How the SWDR Fits into the Project Delivery Process
    • 6.3.1 Project Initiation Document (PID)
    • 6.3.2 Project Approval/Environmental Document (PA/ED)
    • 6.3.3 Plans, Specifications, and Estimate (PS&E)
    • 6.4 Stormwater Data Report (SWDR)
    • 6.4.1 Cover Page
    • 6.4.2 Section 1 - Project Description
    • 6.4.3 Section 2 – Site Data and Stormwater Design Issues
    • 6.4.3.1 Checklists SW-1, SW-2, and SW-3
    • 6.4.3.2 Discussion of Pertinent Data
    • 6.4.4 Section 3 –Construction Site BMPs
    • 6.4.4.1 Construction Concurrence Documentation
    • 6.4.4.2 CGP Coverage and Risk Level Determination
    • 6.4.4.3 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and Water Pollution Control Program (WPCP)
    • 6.4.4.4 Active Treatment Systems (ATS)
    • 6.4.5 Section 4 – Maintenance BMPs
    • 6.4.6 Section 5 - Other Water Quality Requirements and Agreements
    • 6.4.7 Section 6 – Permanent BMPs
    • 6.4.7.1 Introduction
    • 6.4.7.2 Design Pollution Prevention BMP Strategy
    • 6.4.7.3 Treatment BMP Strategy
    • 6.4.7.4 Validation of Final Soil Stabilization
    • 6.4.7.5 Compliance with Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO)
    • 6.4.8 Required Attachments
    • 6.4.8.1 Vicinity Map of the Project Area
    • 6.4.8.2 Stormwater Data Report (SWDR) Attachment for Stormwater Multiple Application Report Tracking System (SMARTS) Input
    • 6.4.9 Cost Estimating for BMPs
    • 6.4.9.1 Project Planning Cost Estimates (PPCE) (PID and PA/ED)
    • 6.4.9.2 Preliminary Engineer’s Cost Estimates (PECE) (PS&E)
    • 6.4.9.3 Incorporating Stormwater BMPs into Projects
    • 6.5 Resident Engineer’s (RE) File
    • 6.6 SWDR Summary Spreadsheets
  • Appendix A: Approved Design Pollution Prevention BMPs and Checklist
    • A.1 Required Minimum Design Elements for Stormwater Control
    • A.2 Consideration of Downstream Effects Related to Potentially Increased Flow
    • A.3 Preservation of Existing Vegetation
    • A.4 Concentrated Flow Conveyance Systems
    • A.5 Slope/Surface Protection Systems
    • A.6 Design Pollution Prevention (DPP) BMP Checklists
  • Appendix B: Approved Treatment BMPs and Checklist
    • B.1 Treatment BMPs
    • B.1.1 Infiltration Requirements and Tools
    • B.1.2 Targeted Design Constituent (TDC)
    • B.1.3 Incorporation of Existing Features as Treatment BMPs
    • B.1.4 Interaction with other Caltrans Functional Units
    • B.1.5 Hydraulic Issues Related to Treatment BMPs
    • B.1.5.1 Treatment BMPs as a Component of the Drainage System
    • B.1.5.2 Use of Peak Flow Attenuation Devices as WQV-Based Treatment BMPs
    • B.1.6 Caltrans Treatment BMP Website
    • B.2 DPP Infiltration Areas
    • B.2.1 Description
    • B.2.2 Appropriate Applications and Siting Criteria
    • B.2.3 Factors Affecting Preliminary Design
    • B.2.4 Checklist
    • B.3 Infiltration Devices
    • B.3.1 Description
    • B.3.2 Appropriate Applications and Siting Criteria
    • B.3.3 Factors Affecting Preliminary Design
    • B.3.4 Checklist
    • B.4 Biofiltration Strips and Swales (Vegetated Treatment Systems)
    • B.4.1 Description
    • B.4.2 Appropriate Applications and Siting Criteria
    • B.4.3 Factors Affecting Design
    • B.4.4 Checklist
    • B.5 Detention Devices
    • B.5.1 Description
    • B.5.2 Appropriate Applications and Siting Criteria
    • B.5.3 Factors Affecting Preliminary Design
    • B.5.4 Checklist
    • B.6 Traction Sand Traps (TST)
    • B.6.1 Description
    • B.6.2 Appropriate Applications and Siting Constraints
    • B.6.3 Factors Affecting Preliminary Design
    • B.6.4 Checklist
    • B.7 Dry Weather Flow Diversion
    • B.7.1 Description
    • B.7.2 Appropriate Applications and Siting Criteria
    • B.7.3 Factors Affecting Preliminary Design
    • B.7.4 Checklist
    • B.8 Gross Solids Removal Devices (GSRDs): Linear Radial and Inclined Screen
    • B.8.1 Description
    • B.8.2 Appropriate Applications and Siting Criteria
    • B.8.3 Factors Affecting Preliminary Design
    • B.8.4 Checklist
    • B.9 Media Filters
    • B.9.1 Description
    • B.9.2 Appropriate Applications and Siting Criteria
    • B.9.3 Factors Affecting Preliminary Design
    • B.9.4 Checklist
    • B.10 Multi-Chamber Treatment Train (MCTT)
    • B.11 Wet Basin
    • B.12 Pervious Pavement
    • B.13 Open Graded Friction Course
    • B.13.1 Description
    • B.13.2 Appropriate Applications and Siting Criteria
    • B.14 Bioretention
    • B.14.1 Description
    • B.14.2 Appropriate Applications, Siting, and Design Criteria
    • B.14.3 Factors Affecting Preliminary Design
  • Appendix C: Construction Site BMPs and Checklists
    • C.1 Construction Site Best Management Practices (BMPs)
    • C.1.1 Temporary Soil Stabilization BMPs
    • c.1.1.1 Scheduling
    • C.1.1.2 Preservation of Existing Vegetation
    • C.1.1.3 Hydraulic Mulch
    • C.1.1.4 Hydroseed
    • C.1.1.5 Soil Binder
    • C.1.1.6 Straw Mulch
    • C.1.1.7 Temporary Cover and Rolled Erosion Control Products (RECP)
    • C.1.1.8 Wood Mulch
    • C.1.1.9 Earth Dikes/Drainage Swales and Lined Ditches
    • C.1.1.10 Outlet Protection/Velocity Dissipation Devices
    • C.1.1.11 Slope Drains
    • C.1.1.12 Streambank Stabilization
    • C.1.2 Sediment Control Practices
    • C.1.2.1 Silt Fence
    • C.1.2.2 Sediment/Desilting Basin
    • C.1.2.3 Sediment Trap/Curb Cutback
    • C.1.2.4 Check Dam
    • C.1.2.5 Fiber Rolls/Large Sediment Barrier
    • C.1.2.6 Gravel Bag/Earthen Berm
    • C.1.2.7 Street Sweeping and Vacuuming
    • C.1.2.8 Sand Bag Barrier
    • C.1.2.9 Straw Bale Barrier
    • C.1.2.10 Drainage Inlet Protection
    • C.1.2.11 Compost Sock
    • C.1.2.12 Flexible Sediment Barrier
    • C.1.3 Tracking Control Practices
    • C.1.3.1 Temporary Construction Entrance
    • C.1.3.2 Temporary Construction Roadway
    • C.1.3.3 Entrance/Outlet Tire Wash
    • C.1.3.4 Street Sweeping and Vacuuming
    • C.1.4 Wind Erosion Control
    • C.1.5 Non-Stormwater Management BMPs
    • C.1.5.1 Water Conservation Practices
    • C.1.5.2 Dewatering Operations
    • C.1.5.3 Paving, Sealing, Sawcutting, and Grinding Operations
    • C.1.5.4 Temporary Stream Crossing
    • C.1.5.5 Clear Water Diversion
    • C.1.5.6 Illegal Connection/Illicit Discharge Detection and Reporting
    • C.1.5.7 Potable Water/Irrigation
    • C.1.5.8 Vehicle and Equipment Cleaning
    • C.1.5.9 Vehicle and Equipment Fueling
    • C.1.5.10 Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance
    • C.1.5.11 Pile Driving Operations
    • C.1.5.12 Concrete Curing
    • C.1.5.13 Material and Equipment Use Over Water
    • C.1.5.14 Concrete Finishing
    • C.1.5.15 Structure Demolition/Removal Over or Adjacent to Water
    • C.1.6 Waste Management and Materials Pollution Control
    • C.1.6.1 Material Delivery and Storage
    • C.1.6.2 Material Use
    • C.1.6.3 Stockpile Management
    • C.1.6.4 Spill Prevention and Control
    • C.1.6.5 Solid Waste Management
    • C.1.6.6 Hazardous Waste Management
    • C.1.6.7 Contaminated Soil Management
    • C.1.6.8 Concrete Waste Management
    • C.1.6.9 Sanitary/Septic Waste Management
    • C.1.6.10 Liquid Waste Management
    • C.2 Clear Water Diversion
    • C.2.1 Introduction
    • C.2.1.1 Overview
    • C.2.1.2 Caltrans Project Delivery Staff Coordination
    • C.2.1.3 CGP/ NPDES Compliance SWPPP/WPCP Documentation
    • C.2.1.4 Appropriate Uses
    • C.2.2 Factors Affecting Preliminary Design
    • C.2.2.1 Design Considerations
    • C.2.2.2 Hydrology Methods for Sizing
    • C.2.2.3 Limitations
    • C.2.2.4 Standards and Specifications
    • C.3 Active Treatment Systems
    • C.3.1 Introduction
    • C.3.1.1 Overview
    • C.3.1.2 Construction General Permit
    • C.3.2 ATS Selection Criteria
    • C.3.2.1 Determine Risk
    • C.3.2.2 Potential Storage Area and Peak Stormwater Flow
    • C.3.2.3 Soil Type
    • C.3.2.4 Settling Velocity and Required Settling Area
    • C.3.2.5 Determine Appropriate Device
    • C.3.3 Factors Affecting Preliminary Design
    • C.3.3.1 Pollution Prevention/Sediment Mitigation
    • C.3.3.2 Collection System/Discharge Piping
    • C.3.3.3 Storage/Pre-Sedimentation
    • C.3.3.4 Treatment Components
    • C.3.3.4.1 Coagulation /Flocculation
    • C.3.3.4.2 pH Adjustment
    • C.3.4 Active Treatment System Sizing
    • C.3.4.1 Construction Area
    • C.3.4.1.1 Flowrate
    • C.3.4.1.2 Sedimentation Residence Time
    • C.4 Construction Site (CS) BMP Checklists
  • Appendix D: Relevant Stormwater Documents, Websites, and Process Summary Forms
  • Appendix E: Stormwater Data Report and Checklists
  • Appendix F: Cost Estimates
    • F.1 Introduction
    • F.1.1 Policy and Guidance
    • F.1.2 Construction Duration
    • F.2 Standard Specifications, Contract Plans, and Special Provisions
    • F.3 Estimating Methods
    • F.3.1 Project Initiation Cost Estimate Method
    • F.3.2 Project Design Cost Estimate Method
    • F.3.3 Water Pollution Control Contract Bid Items
    • F.3.3.1 Supplemental Costs
    • F.3.3.2 Department Furnished Materials
    • F.4 Temporary Active Treatment System (Contract Bid Item: 130800)
    • F.4.1 Construction Costs
    • F.4.2 Operational Costs
    • F.5 Temporary Stream Diversion System (Contract Bid Item: To Be Determined)
    • F.6 Water Quality Monitoring
  • Appendix G: Abbreviations, Acronyms and Definition of Terms
    • G.1 Abbreviations
    • G.2 Acronyms
    • G.3 Definition of Terms