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    City of Knoxville / County of Knox County

    The City of Knoxville, like many other cities across the United States, is required to have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to discharge stormwater from the municipal separate storm drain system (MS4). Because development activities may significantly contribute to the discharge of pollutants, the NPDES permit requires that the City of Knoxville encourage, promote, and require implementation of certain practices and procedures for the purpose of reducing or limiting discharge of pollutants to stormwater channels.

    To accomplish this goal, the City of Knoxville has ordinances and standards, which require BMP implementation and inspections as part of land development activities. Some of these ordinances and standards have been developed and adopted specifically to address stormwater quality concerns, while others were originally developed to address other concerns, but are also effective in promoting improved stormwater quality in development activities. Development of a BMP Manual was required by NPDES Permit No. TNS068055 issued in 1996 for the City of Knoxville. The principal ordinances and standards for the City of Knoxville that affect the selection of BMPs are listed below.

    1. NPDES Stormwater Discharge Permit Application (also called NPDES MS4 Permit Application), Part I - April 1993 and Part II – May 1993, prepared for the City of Knoxville by Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc. Submitted to TDEC Division of Water Pollution Control.
    2. NPDES Stormwater Discharge Permit No. TNS068055 (also called NPDES MS4 Permit), issued for the City of Knoxville from the TDEC Division of Water Pollution Control, effective on July 1, 1996. In 2003, TDEC has revised and reissued this permit to incorporate more stringent federal standards and guidelines.
    3. The Knoxville Stormwater and Street Ordinance (Chapter 22.5 of the City Code), initially issued in June 1997 and last revised in May 2003.
    4. The Land Development Manual (LDM) is intended to assist interested parties (developers, engineers, property owners, city personnel) with procedures for land development within the City of Knoxville. The LDM focuses primarily on the role of the Engineering Department with regards to plan and plat requirements, review process, inspections, etc. There is also more content on stormwater management in the LDM.

    Knoxville Stormwater and Street Ordinance

    Sec. 22.5-7. - Notice of violation.

    Whenever the director determines that a violation of any provision of this chapter has occurred, that work does not have a required plan or permit, or that work does not comply with an approved plan or permit, the director may issue a notice of violation to the property owner, utility, facility operator, lessee, tenant, contractor, permittee, the equipment operator, any other person or entity doing work on the site, or any combination thereof. The notice of violation shall:

    1. Be in writing;
    2. Include a description of the property sufficient for identification of where violation has occurred;
    3. List the violation;
    4. State the action required; and
    5. Provide a deadline for compliance or to stop work.

    (Ord. No. O-281-2017, § 1, 12-5-17)


    Sec. 22.5-8. - Penalties (articles I, II, and III).

    (a) Any person violating the provisions of this chapter may be assessed a civil penalty by the city of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) or more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) per violation, per site, per day for each day of violation. A person may be deemed guilty of a separate violation for each day during any continuing violation of any provision of this chapter, of any regulation, or of any permit issued hereunder. All penalties collected under the provisions of this section shall inure exclusively to the use and benefit of the department of engineering for remediation projects and educational endeavors associated with stormwater activities.

    (Ord. No. O-281-2017, § 1, 12-5-17)


    Section 22.5-63- Prohibition

    Property owners and lessees are responsible for maintaining stormwater facilities located on their property. It shall be unlawful for any property owner to cause or allow a nuisance for any component of the stormwater system located on private property.

    (Ord. No. O-281-2017, § 1, 12-5-17)


    Knoxville Land Development Manual


    Stormwater facilities refer to any device designed to reduce stormwater flows or to reduce the pollutant loads in stormwater. Stormwater facilities include, but are not limited to: detention basins, retention basins, infiltration ponds, oil/water separators and grit chambers. The City of Knoxville assumes no responsibility for the maintenance, installation or improvement of stormwater facilities located on private property. Stormwater facilities located on private property are the responsibility of the property owner(s). In some cases, a neighborhood association may have legally accepted the responsibilities of the stormwater facility.


    In compliance with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit # TNS068055, the City of Knoxville is required to prohibit and enforce non-stormwater discharges to the municipal separate storm drain system. This was initially accomplished by the Knoxville Stormwater and Street Ordinance in 1997. To fulfill the remainder of the NPDES requirements with regards to enforcement, these guidelines have been adopted by the Water Quality Section and other personnel within the Stormwater Engineering Division.


    A Citizen's Handbook for Maintaining Stormwater Best Management Practices Knox County

    Knoxville Stormwater Ordinance
    Knox County Stormwater Website