City of Morristown Stormwater Program
Welcome to the City of Morristown Stormwater Program’s web site! This site contains information regarding the City’s Stormwater Permit and how the public can become involved in keeping the waters of our City clean. You’ll also find information regarding stormwater regulations that may affect your construction project.
You may call our Stormwater Hotline at 423-585-1831 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any immediate stormwater issues. Report an “illicit discharge” to the City’s waters (dumping trash, pouring motor oil down the drain, etc.). Provide a comment on a construction site. Let us know if you see any other issue which may lead to stormwater pollution
Contact us for other issues:
Jim Whitbeck, P.E. (423-353-1055, email@example.com)
City’s Main Switchboard (423-581-0100)
Opportunities for Public Involvement
Keep Morristown-Hamblen Beautiful partners with the City to provide education and involvement opportunities. Check their website often for updates on programs and ways you can help the City keep your lake and streams clean.
Links to some frequently accessed information are provided below. Much more information about the City’s Stormwater Program and requirements for development is located below the links.
- General Stormwater Plans Submittal Information
- Land Disturbance Information
- Stormwater Detention Information
- Stormwater Treatment Information (Required for Disturbed Areas > 1 acre and certain other locations)
- Water Quality BMP Manual
- Stormwater Management / BMP Facilities Maintenance Agreement
- Approval of Proprietary Water Quality BMPs
- City of Knoxville Approved Proprietary BMPs (Adopted as Morristown’s Approved List)
- Clarification of the Requirements for Proposed Hot Spots
- WQMP Plan Requirements for TMSP Holders
City’s Planning Department (Planning, Zoning, Subdivisions, Annexation, Signs)
The City initially became covered by the NPDES General Permit For Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) in 2003. This permit, often simply called a “Stormwater Permit,” is required by the US Environmental Protection Agency and is implemented in Tennessee by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). Neither the US EPA nor the State of Tennessee provides any funding to Morristown for operating the Stormwater Program.
Most cities and counties with a population greater than 10,000 and/or located in an “urbanized area” as defined by the US Census must follow this permit, which regulates discharges of stormwater runoff to waters of the state.
The permit provides requirements in each of the following six “minimum control measures”:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Involvement/Participation
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Stormwater Management in New Development and Re-Development
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
More information about each of these six main categories is provided below.
Public Education and Outreach & Public Involvement/Participation
These two related topics focus on educating and involving the public in all areas of stormwater management. We run articles in the Lakeway Citizen-Tribune about new and pending regulations and also topics of general interest. We hold a public meeting to present our Annual Report each year before submittal to the state on September 30. In addition, we partner with Keep Morristown-Hamblen Beautiful to provide education about the importance of clean water to students in the Hamblen County Schools and to all residents of Morristown. KMHB also coordinates many other programs such as regular BOPAE (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze, Electronic Waste) and Household Hazardous Waste Collections and the annual Christmas Tree Recycling collection.
Opportunities for the residents of Morristown and Hamblen County to become involved are advertised at the top of the web page under “Quick Info.”
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Our Stormwater Permit requires us to find and eliminate “illicit discharges.” The City’s Illicit Discharge Ordinance, passed in April 2011, defines “illicit discharges,” prohibits them, and provides for enforcement options to eliminate them.
The Ordinance defines an illicit discharge as any discharge not composed entirely of stormwater runoff unless otherwise allowed. Some allowable discharges include foundation drains, landscape watering, air conditioning condensate, water used for street sweeping, and runoff from fire fighting activities. Most other discharges to the stormwater system are prohibited.
Residential car washing and car washes for charities lasting two days or less are allowed. However, commercial car washing which runs off to a stream, ditch, catch basin, gutter, or any other type of stormwater conveyance is prohibited.
This part of our permit also requires us to notify and educate “hot spots.” These are locations such as restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, auto repair shops, and other places which pose a higher risk of stormwater pollution due to the nature of their operations. In April 2011, the City mailed notices to over 400 businesses who may qualify as a “hot spot.”
Being designated as a hot spot does not mean that the business is not operating properly or is violating any rules or ordinances. It simply means that there is a greater potential for pollution at the site. There are no additional fees or permits. However, our permit requires us to provide education to hot spots and to inspect stormwater drains in the area of hot spots to insure that no illicit discharges are occurring.
Call our Stormwater Hotline at 423-585-1831 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to report a suspected illicit discharge. Call us at the Contacts above with other questions about illicit discharges and hot spots.
Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
The third requirement of the Stormwater Permit is for control of runoff from construction sites. Discharges of sediment or other waste (concrete truck washout, litter, etc.) from construction sites is prohibited by the City’s Land Disturbance Ordinance.
A permit is required for any land disturbance of any size inside the City with a few exceptions. A Land Disturbance Permit Guidelines and Application which contains more information and an application form may be picked up at the City building at 100 West 1st North Street or may be downloaded from this website. Please call one of the contacts at the top of the page for more information.
In addition, any land disturbance totaling more than one acre requires a permit from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). Consult TDEC’s Website or call the TDEC Knoxville Environmental Assistance Center at (865) 594-6035 for more information. Their website also includes information about training courses required for those who will implement and inspect a site covered by a TDEC Construction Permit.
Post-Construction Stormwater Management in New Development And Re-Development
Our Stormwater Permit requires treatment of stormwater runoff from areas of new development and re-development. The City’s Post Construction Ordinance contains the requirements for treatment, while the Water Quality BMP Manual contains design methods and treatment options. An executed Stormwater Management / BMP Facilities Maintenance Agreement is required to assure that treatment facilities are continually maintained even after the construction is completed.
The Water Quality Buffer Zone Ordinance contains regulations for preserving the areas along streams, creeks, lakes, and other waters. These areas provide an additional barrier to pollution by filtering runoff, protecting the stream channel from erosion, and providing shade and cover to aquatic life.
Please note that any work near a stream may require a TDEC Permit. Visit their Permits website or call the TDEC Knoxville Environmental Assistance Center at (865) 594-6035 for more information.
Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping For Municipal Operations
The final of the six stormwater permit requirements involves the City’s own operations. The City must evaluate all sources of potential pollution such as streets and roads, municipal parking lots, maintenance shops, outdoor storage areas, construction activities, parks maintenance and landscaping, and salt storage. Procedures to eliminate or reduce the potential for pollution must be developed, and employees must be trained on these procedures at least annually.
Neither the State of Tennessee or the federal government provides funding for the City’s Stormwater Program. In 2008, the City established a Stormwater Utility to provide funding for implementing the requirements of the Stormwater Permit and for maintaining and improving the storm sewer system. The City Council recently adjusted this fee to account for the rising costs of compliance.
Single-family residences will now pay $2.50 per month, billed to their water or electric bill or separately by the City. Commercial facilities and non-profits will be charged $2.50 per “Equivalent Residential Unit” (ERU) of impervious area (driveways, patios, roofs, or other areas where stormwater does not infiltrate into the ground). An ERU is equal to 2,400 square feet and was determined to be the average amount of impervious area located at a home in the area. For rental properties, the landlord may pay the fee or may divide it amongst the tenants.