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Stormwater Management

Reducing Stormwater Pollution | City Stormwater Management Plan | City Stormwater Ordinance
Stormwater Utility Fee | Stormwater Management for Site Development

Stormwater Videos

Stormwater runoff is a leading source of water pollution. Stormwater runoff can harm surface waters such as rivers, lakes, and streams which in turn cause or contribute to water quality standards being exceeded. Stormwater runoff can change natural hydrologic patterns, accelerate stream flows, destroy aquatic habitats, and elevate pollutant concentrations and loadings. Development substantially increases runoff from city streets, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks, on which pollutants from human activities settle.

Stormwater runoff within the City of Greenville flows through a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) and ultimately discharges into local rivers and streams, not the wastewater treatment plant. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates these stormwater discharges through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program. This program requires that the City of Greenville implement an MS4 stormwater management program with the intent to improve the Nation’s waterways by reducing the pollutants that stormwater runoff picks up and carries into the stormwater systems during storm events.

Through the MS4 general permit, the City of Greenville is required to develop a stormwater management plan that incorporates best management practices (BMPs) applicable to our MS4. There are six program components known as minimum control measures (MCMs) that must be implemented. They are:

Public Education and Outreach | Illicit Discharge Elimination
Construction Site Runoff Controls | Post-Construction Runoff Controls
Pollution Prevention and "Good Housekeeping"

Reducing Stormwater Pollution
photo of creek overflowing its banks

Through the MS4 general permit, the city is improving the quality of lakes and rivers that receive our stormwater discharges, thereby improving the quality of life for our citizens by protecting and restoring local water quality. However, the responsibility for water quality is not left in the hands of public officials. Private citizens can change the way they do small things and have a dramatic effect on the quality of our streams and rivers.

photo of owner cleaning up after dog

Simple Steps for Better Water Quality: You can make simple changes to reduce stormwater pollution and improve the quality of your local stream or river by following these tips:

  • Fertilize established lawns with phosphorous-free fertilizer and don’t allow fertilizer into the street. Be yard savvy.
  • Do not blow leaves and grass clippings into storm drain inlets. Keep oil, chemicals, and other illicit discharges from entering storm drain systems as well.
  • When you wash your car or truck, direct water onto your lawn to soak up soap. Practice curb control. If you are planning a charity car wash, learn how to properly plan and implement.
  • Direct your home's gutters onto your lawn or into a rain barrel. Install a rain garden to filter runoff from your roof and driveway. Water that doesn’t make it to the curb can’t carry pollutants to lakes and streams.
  • Clean up after your pet.
Stormwater Utility Fee

Who pays the Stormwater Utility Fee?

Every property in the city of Greenville is charged a stormwater utility fee; therefore, owners of single-family residential, multi-family residential, vacant, and non-residential properties must pay the fee. This fee is included with your annual tax notice from Greenville County. While all developed properties are charged a fee, the fee may be reduced for non-residential properties where owners maintain stormwater quantity and quality control measures, reduce runoff or eliminate runoff on their properties. Certain credits are also available for certain institutions that help provide education about stormwater to the public. This reduction is called a credit. More about the Stormwater Utility Fee Credit

What is the fee?

Residential single-family property is billed based on the following rates:

Annual Fee 2013 2014
Developed Residential (less than 1640 sq ft) $38.79 $39.41
Developed Residential (greater than 1640 sq ft) $68.10 $69.19
Undeveloped Residential $38.79 $39.41

Multi-family developed and non-residential properties are billed based on the following rates PER ERU (equivalent residential unit):

Annual Base Rate Per ERU 2013 2014
Developed Commercial/Industrial $68.10 $69.19
Undeveloped Commercial/Industrial $68.10 $69.19

Note: Where the total ERUs= total impervious area of the parcel in sq ft/2389 sq ft.

Need more help with the Stormwater Utility Fee? Detailed information and Frequently Asked Questions

Stormwater Management Plan

The adoption of the City of Greenville Stormwater Management Plan and the establishment of a stormwater management program provides the City with the basis for establishing effective rules, regulations, and projects that will reduce the potential for stormwater damage to life, public health, safety, property, and the environment. The City will be able to better assess funding consideration for capital improvement projects that will correct existing flooding problems and reduce the likelihood of future issues. With the development and implementation of Watershed Plans, the Stormwater Ordinance, and system maintenance and public information programs, the City of Greenville will have the ability to accomplish comprehensive stormwater management. The Environmental Engineering Bureau of the Engineering Division of Public Works is responsible for the implementation of the Stormwater Management Plan.

Download Greenville Stormwater Management Plan (388 KB)

City Stormwater Ordinance

To provide a consistent level of protection throughout the city and comply with the requirements of the MS4 general permit, a program for consistent regulation and enforcement has been developed. The Stormwater Ordinance provides comprehensive regulatory requirements consistent with the Greenville Stormwater Management Plan goals. The Stormwater Ordinance specifies standards for soil erosion and sediment control, stormwater drainage and detention/retention, floodplain management, and wetland and stream protection.

The City of Greenville's Stormwater Ordinance is available online. The Stormwater Ordinance is Chapter 19 of the Land Management Ordinance.

Navigating the Permitting Process

Almost all development or redevelopment of any structure or parcel of land within the City requires the issuance of a Site Plan Permit prior to the issuance of any other building or construction related permit pursuant to Section 19-2.3.9, Site Plan Permit. Other permits in addition to the Site Plan Permit may be required depending on the scope of the project. In many cases, a Stormwater Permit will be required. Individual Single Family construction is exempt from obtaining a Stormwater Permit. However, no construction activity is exempt from the floodplain, floodway, wetland, riparian environment, depressional storage and soil erosion and sediment control provisions of Section 19-7, Stormwater Management.

Site Plan Permits are administered by the Planning and Development Division. Detailed Site Plan submittal requirements for Single Family and Non-Single Family development have been provided. Stormwater Permits are administered by the Engineering Division, and detailed Stormwater Permitting information is provided below.

Stormwater Management for Site Development

As part of the Stormwater Ordinance, all development in the City has regulatory requirements that align with the City’s Stormwater Management Plan. The City of Greenville has developed guidance and support for site development projects so that they are able to effectively meet the requirements of the City Stormwater Ordinance and obtain necessary permits associated with the development. To determine what type of permit is required for your proposed development, view the Stormwater Permit Flow Chart.

Forms and Templates

Due to the recently revised Stormwater Ordinance, the City of Greenville’s forms and templates relative to the Stormwater Permit have been revised. These forms and templates are effective January 1, 2013. The City of Greenville’s templates, forms, checklists and guidance documents are available for download below.

Permit Application Documents

Stormwater Permit Application
Sediment and Erosion Control Permit Checklist
Minor Stormwater Permit Checklist
Major Stormwater Permit Checklist
SWPPP Booklet Template
Stormwater Management Facility Certification Form
Stormwater Maintenance Agreement

For City of Greenville Details and Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Notes required to meet the performance requirements of the Ordinance, see the Design and Specifications Manual.

For applicable DHEC forms,

Grading Permits

A Grading Permit must be purchased from the City before land disturbing activities can occur. A Grading Permit may be purchased only after the proposed development is issued a Stormwater Permit by the City of Greenville. View application and associated fees.


Dwayne Cooper, P.E.
Engineering Services Manager

Jacqueline Chelbezan, PE, PH, CFM
Assistant City Engineer -

Jennifer Wood, PE, CFM
Senior Civil Engineer

Jason Gillespie, EIT
Civil Engineer

Lucas Bryson, EIT
Civil Engineer

Clark Chewning, EIT
Civil Engineer

You can reach our office during business hours by calling
Fax: 864-467-5754

We are located at:
206 S. Main Street
(Eighth Floor)
Greenville, SC

Our mailing address:
City of Greenville,
Engineering Division
P.O. Box 2207
Greenville, SC 29602