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    State of Florida

    Stormwater Management in Florida

    Stormwater runoff is generated from rain events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams and lakes. To protect these resources, municipalities, construction and industries activities, and others use stormwater controls, known as best management practices (BMPs), to manage their runoff. The implementation of these practices, which include BMP design, performance and adaptive management requirements, prevent pollution by controlling it at its source.

    When rain falls on lawns, forests and fields, the water not absorbed by plants filters through the soil before reaching and replenishing Florida’s groundwater supply. Ninety percent of the state’s drinking water is supplied by groundwater.

    To learn more about stormwater management and maintenance in your local area, schedule a FREE consultation today!


    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulates activities that generate stormwater runoff. Projects that alter the natural flow of water or increase the amount of stormwater runoff are regulated by the department’s Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) program. DEP also regulates activities that have the potential to increase pollutant loads to water bodies or to municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) as covered by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

    ERP stormwater permits:

    • Are required for projects that alter land topography to the extent that there is a significant increase in the site’s stormwater runoff;
    • Authorize the construction of a stormwater management system; and
    • Require the owner of the management system to maintain it in perpetuity.
    • Are required to treat stormwater runoff associated with construction activities, industrial activities and MS4s;
    • Require permittees to develop and implement a stormwater pollution prevention plan or stormwater management plan;
    • Require permittees to minimize and control pollution;
    • Require the implementation of structural and nonstructural best management practices; and
    • Require periodic audits, inspections and monitoring to ensure compliance with the permit.

    Responsibility of Stormwater Systems

    In Florida, the responsibility for permitting most stormwater systems rests with the water management districts. After developers complete construction of permitted systems in residential areas, the permit and the legal responsibility for maintaining these systems are typically passed on to a homeowners or condominium owners association, or property management companies.

    Northwest Florida Water Managements District

    Suwannee River Water Management District

    St. Johns River Water Management District

    Southwest Florida Water Management District

    South Florida Water Management District


    Additional Resources

    Florida Erosion and Sediment Control 

    Florida NPDES Stormwater Program

    Example of a Stormwater Inspection Checklist