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Stormwater Management Program

Stormwater Management Program

The City of Tacoma's Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) Plan was updated in March 2016 as required by the 2013-2018 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit.  


The 2016 SWMP is available at the following link:


Stormwater Management Program Plan

The Goals of the City of Tacoma Stormwater Management Program

  • Manage surface water to minimize flooding, erosion and contamination
  • Mitigate the impacts of increased runoff from urbanization
  • Manage runoff from developed properties and those under development
  • Protect the health, safety and welfare of the public
  • Correct or mitigate existing water quality problems
  • Restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of waters in the city for the protection of beneficial uses
  • Develop and put into place a cost-effective, affordable surface water management program
  • Educate the public about what they can do to help keep our waters clean

To give us the needed authority to comply with our NPDES permit, the City passed an ordinance that regulates surface water and wastewater within city limits. This ordinance, known as Chapter 12.08 of the Tacoma Municipal Code, prohibits introducing any matter except clean storm and surface water into storm drains.


Tacoma’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit

The Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) requirements are listed in the City of Tacoma's National Pollutant Discharge Eliminations System (NPDES) Municipal Stormwater Permit, which regulates the discharge of stormwater from the City's storm system to surface and ground waters. This program guides the storm drainage system operations of the City through the end of this NPDES permit term (2018).


Tacoma’s Stormwater Management Program is designed to meet the requirements set forth by the NPDES permit and contains multiple elements including storm system mapping and maintenance, permitting and inspecting new construction projects, source control inspections, spill response, illicit discharge investigations, and public education.

For more information about the NPDES permit program or our compliance with it, please call Surface Water Management at (253) 591-5588.

NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permit Annual Report

The City of Tacoma reports annually on the NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permit related activities to the Washington State Department of Ecology. The annual report for the 2015 calendar year submitted to Ecology on March 31, 2016 is as follows: