City of Huntsville

Huntsville stormwater laws & regulations

The City of Huntsville regulations are compliant with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) through municipal regulation the Huntsville Stormwater Management Ordinance and the Huntsville Stormwater Management Manual. The city’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) requires Huntsville to administer and enforce compliance with stormwater discharge permits in an effort to decrease stormwater pollutants and increase overall water quality.

EXCERPT- Stormwater Management Ordinance, 2016

Sec. 12-335. - Stormwater management manual standards.

In the enforcement and administration of this article, the city engineer shall apply the standards set forth in section 2.1.1 of the stormwater management manual.

EXCERPT-Huntsville Stormwater Management Manual, 1991

2.2 Permit Requirements

A grading permit issued by the Engineer of Public Works or approval by the Engineer of Public Works of a building permit will be required before any land disturbance activity can begin, unless the disturbance is exempted by the provisions in Section 2.3.

2.3.3 Maintenance Grading

No grading permit is required for grading as a maintenance measure, or for the landscaping on developed lots or parcels with existing structures, provided all of the following criteria are met:

  1. The aggregate area affected or stripped at any one time does not exceed 10,000 square feet and is not within a natural drainageway (e.g., designated flood plain).
  2. The grade change does not exceed 18 inches at any point and does not alter the direction of the drainage flow path.
  3. Proper vegetative cover is re-established as soon as possible on all disturbed areas.
  4. The grading does not involve a quantity of material in excess of 200 cubic yards.


The Engineer of Public Works, or any duly authorized representatives, may enter upon the premises of any land within the City of Huntsville for which an application for either a grading or building permit has been filed for the purpose of inspecting the site before, during, and upon conclusion of construction to or other land disturbance activity to determine compliance with the requirements of this manual and the grading or building permit. The acceptance of a grading or building permit shall be construed as permission by the applicant for entry upon the premises for such inspections.


Any non-permitted drainage system, construction, or fill located within a flood plain shall, upon written notice from the Engineer of Public Works, be removed at the property owner’s expense. Where any violation is discovered, the responsible party shall restore the land to its state prior to the violation. The applicant may appeal the required corrective measures in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section 2.5.7.



Huntsville Stormwater Website

Huntsville Storm Water Pollution Page

Huntsville Stormwater Maps


Alabama Handbook (Volume 1)

Alabama Handbook (Volume 2)

Alabama Handbook (Appendix)

Alabama LID Handbook

Alabama NPDES Permits