City of Memphis / County of Shelby
The City of Memphis has been issued an NPDES stormwater permit by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). This permit requires the City to implement a variety of programs to identify, eliminate, and prevent the discharge of pollutants into the storm drain system flowing through the City. The City of Memphis adopted a stormwater management ordinance to protect, maintain, and enhance the environment of the City of Memphis and the short-term and long-term public health, safety, and the general welfare of the citizens the City of Memphis by controlling discharges of pollutants to the City of Memphis MS4 and to maintain and improve the quality of the receiving waters into which the storm water outfalls flow, including without limitation, lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, wetlands, and ground water of the City of Memphis.
Objectives of the Stormwater Management Policy:
- Protect public health, safety, and general welfare.
- Eliminate any unallowable discharges to Memphis and Shelby County MS4s that adversely impact water quality.
- Provide for the sound use and development of flood-prone areas in such a manner as to maximize beneficial use without increasing flood hazard potential or diminishing the quality of the natural storm water resources.
- Increase the awareness of the public, property owners and potential homebuyers regarding storm water impacts (i.e., flooding, erosion).
- Minimize prolonged business interruptions.
- Minimize damage to public facilities and utilities such as water and gas mains; electric, telephone, storm and sanitary sewer lines; and streets and bridges.
- Promote functional public and private storm water management systems that will not result in excessive maintenance costs.
- Encourage the use of natural and aesthetically pleasing design that maximizes preservation of natural areas.
- Promote the use of comprehensive watershed management plans.
- Encourage preservation of floodplains, floodways, and open spaces.
- Encourage community stewardship of Memphis and Shelby County's water resources.
- Minimize the impacts from new development or areas of significant redevelopment, while encouraging infill development to improve quality of life in the urban core.
Post Construction Run-0ff Control
The Post-Construction Runoff Control Plan (PCRC Plan) is a component of the Operation and Maintenance Agreement for the development or site. The PCRC Plan must include a description of the storm water system and its components, inspection priorities and inspection schedule for each component, and a schematic for each BMP.
Purposes of the PCRC Plan:
• To inform property owners about the system components on their properties, so that they
will know the locations and maintenance needs of the components and structural BMPs.
• To facilitate inspections.
• To obtain storm water credits for BMPs (under the storm water enterprise fund).
• To ensure adequate operation and maintenance of post-construction BMPs that require
maintenance (e.g., detention and retention ponds, including underground detention
Sec. 36-110. Maintenance responsibility of privately owned infrastructure.
(a) Any stormwater management facility, including buffers, that is privately owned shall receive general routine maintenance (i.e., controlling vegetative growth, removing sediment and debris) provided for by the owner.
(b) The owner shall maintain a perpetual right of access for inspection and emergency access by the county. The county has the right, but not the duty to enter premises for inspection and emergency repairs.
(c) Any stormwater management facility that services commercial and industrial development shall be maintained.
(d) Maintenance requirements may also be prescribed by a site-specific agreement between the owner or operator and the county. These agreements shall be based on an approved site design, a stormwater pollution prevention plan, an inspection program, a long-term maintenance plan, an emergency repair plan, easements, and proof or surety of financial responsibility. A sample agreement form is shown in section 36-34, facilities maintenance agreement. This form is illustrative and not strictly prescriptive. The county may amend its specific provisions as may be appropriate.
(e) If privately owned infrastructure is not maintained, the manager may assess a fine on the private owner as detailed in article II of this chapter . Such a fine shall be used for cost recovery, to abate damages, and to restore impacted areas.
Memphis and Shelby County Storm Water Management Manual
Volume 1 — Policy Manual; Chapter 6 — Technical Guidelines and Criteria
The property owner or property owners’ association shall maintain the detention, retention, and other drainage facilities to the extent necessary to achieve the intended drainage, retention, and detention functions. Maintenance shall including repair of appurtenances and removal of obstructions and siltation. The property owner or property owners’ association shall provide customary grounds maintenance within the detention easement area in accordance with the following standards:
- Grass areas shall be mowed (in season) at regular intervals not exceeding four weeks. Grass clippings shall be mulched or removed so as not to impair the function of the facility.
- Leaves, litter, and any other material that may impair the function of the facilities shall be promptly removed and properly disposed of so as not to create a property hazard.
- The facilities shall be kept free of brush and trees or other undesired growing material that may impair their function. No trees or shrubs shall be planted in the facilities without the approved by the city and/or county Engineer and OPD. Any plantings shall be of types that are tolerant of periodic flooding.
- Concrete and other appurtenances shall be maintained in good condition and replaced if damaged.
- The property owner or property owners’ association shall submit an annual report as detailed in Section 7.3. Annual inspection and maintenance reports are due to the city and/or county by July 1 of each year. Storm water BMP inspection checklist templates for storm water ponds (and other post-construction BMPs that require maintenance) are contained in Appendix D of Volume 1 of the SWMM: Policy Manual. The inspection checklists can serve as annual reports. The template checklists are a general guideline of inspection elements; however, engineers may modify checklists to include inspections and maintenance elements as needed. Inspections that are required after storm events or monthly may be conducted by the property owner or his representative; however, the required annual inspections must be conducted by a registered engineer. Annual inspection shall include verifying that sufficient temporary storage volume exists for the facility to continue to operate properly. The outlet control structure shall be inspected to ensure that it is in proper repair and that debris or siltation does not clog the outlet control structure. Any deficiencies noted in the inspection shall be promptly reported to Memphis and/or Shelby County along with the proposed method and schedule of repairs.
- Installation of a sedimentation chamber on the upstream side of any detention facility is encouraged. Sediment chambers will be inspected at least twice each year, and built-up sediment removed when necessary. Sediment removed from detention facilities or sediment chambers shall be disposed of in accordance with the laws of the State of Tennessee.
- Underground detention facilities shall be inspected at least twice per year. This inspection will determine the need for cleaning, sediment removal, or other maintenance. Any required maintenance shall be performed promptly to ensure the continued proper operation of the detention facility.
Memphis Stormwater Utility Fee
In December 2005, the Memphis City Council approved the implementation of a monthly storm water fee. The fee, based on units of 3,147 square feet, will be applied to all users or owners of property with “impervious area” located within the City of Memphis. Property owners calculate their monthly stormwater utility fee by multiplying their impervious area in square feet by the fee rate, and dividing this figure by the SFU (3,147). As of January 2013, the Memphis stormwater utility rate is $4.02.
As part of NPDES Permit requirement to “encourage water quality,” — a Fee Adjustment and Credit Manual was issued by the City of Memphis in January 2006 to provide adjustments and credits against the user’s storm water fee as a financial incentive to implement structural and nonstructural BMPs.
Shelby County Stormwater Webpage
Shelby Code of Ordinances Chpt 36 - Stormwater Management
Shelby Stormwater and Pollution Complaint Form
Shelby Stormwater Fees
Memphis Stormwater Management Manual