Pardee Homes was fined for not properly managing sediment run-off in the area where it is building hundreds of homes in Santee.
The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board announced the $291,286 fine Thursday regarding the large Castlerock Weston development along State Route 52.
Excess sediment can change the flow of water after a storm or even stop water from flowing, officials said. Flooding resulted and dumped sediment-rich water into the local ecosystem, the board said.
The city of San Diego had cited Pardee Homes for discharges of sediment from the Castlerock site on September 20, 2016 and December 16, 2016.
Later inspections revealed 70,000 gallons of stormwater had been allowed to leave the construction site and enter the city of Santee's system for storm runoff, leading to Sycamore Canyon which is considered an environmentally sensitive watershed.
According to the settlement, the site operator said an excessive rainy season caused mass grading to take longer than expected. They also faced challenges for implementing solutions to run-off due to the wet conditions and the movement of heavy traffic equipment.
A copy of the settlement is available online.
Pardee Homes did not respond to a request for comment on the settlement.