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Stormwater Management Program

Stormwater Management Program

As part of the NPDES Phase I Municipal Stormwater Permit, the City maintains a Stormwater Management Program Plan (SWMP). The SWMP is the City’s plan for complying with the Permit which regulates the discharge of stormwater from the City's storm system.


Stormwater Management Program Plan Updated March 2019

The City of Tacoma's Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) Plan was updated in March 2019 as required by the 2013-2018 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit.

View the 2019 Stormwater Management Program Plan


This document describes the City of Tacoma's plan for meeting Permit goals and managing stormwater within the City as a part of the NPDES Phase I Municipal Stormwater Permit.  This document is updated annually.  


City of Tacoma Stormwater Management Program Goals

  • 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

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


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 previous calendar year is submitted to Ecology on March 31 each year.  The current report is as follows: