City of Tuscaloosa


The City of Tuscaloosa, an EPA designated Phase II MS4, has created a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) in compliance with their municipal NPDES permit. The SWMP outlines requirements for the City of Tuscaloosa in regards to the management of stormwater runoff within the City. The SWMP measures goals with implementation strategies for the following minimum measures:

  1. public education and outreach on stormwater impacts
  2. public involvement and participation
  3. illicit discharge detection and elimination
  4. construction site stormwater runoff control
  5. post-construction stormwater management
  6. pollution prevention/good housekeeping

Stormwater Management Plan (9/25/2014)

A. STORMWATER MANAGEMENT MISSION STATEMENT

With an effective Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP), the City of Tuscaloosa will reduce the discharge of pollutants from the City MS4 to the maximum extent practicable. Through existing and modified local ordinances and technical standards, the City will require and promote the use of Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure techniques for both new development and redevelopment. This guiding philosophy will effectively reduce runoff quantity and improve water quality through both a net reduction of impervious area and enhanced infiltration of stormwater discharges.

The City of Tuscaloosa will also:

  • identify and eliminate illicit discharges through a comprehensive outfall mapping and wet and dry-weather inspection program.
  • inspect construction sites both during and after construction and enforce existing and modified ordinances to reduce or eliminate erosion and associated pollutant discharges.
  • develop Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans for all Municipal Operations to reduce contaminated runoff from all public streets and facilities.
  • continuously evaluate the SWMP and modify the plan as necessary to maximize pollutant reduction and eliminate ineffective measures.

ARTICLE IX. of the City of Tuscaloosa’s municipal code establishes local requirements for stormwater runoff associated with development activities. This article is enacted to preserve, protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, through the reduction, control and prevention of the discharge of pollutants to the MS4. It is the expressed intent of the city council in enacting this article to provide for and promote compliance by the city with federal and state laws governing the discharge of pollutants from the MS4 and to provide for and promote compliance with the NPDES stormwater program and the terms of the city's municipal phase II stormwater permit. This article shall be known as the "Tuscaloosa NPDES Stormwater Compliance Ordinance."

Municipal Code: City of TUSCALOOSA

ARTICLE IX. - STORMWATER PHASE II

Sec. 21-150. - Preamble, findings of fact and intent.

  1. The City of Tuscaloosa has for a number of years had a storm drainage and erosion control ordinance intended to provide a measure for the City of Tuscaloosa to minimize erosion and sedimentation onto city streets and rights-of-way. The existing subdivision regulations and erosion control ordinance and the associated site development permit (SDP) regulations shall remain in effect and are enhanced but not superceded by this article.
  2. However, as required by phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater program, as published in the Federal Register on December 8, 1999, and promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Water Act (CWA), a regulated small municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) operator must develop, implement, and enforce a stormwater management program designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants from their MS4 to the "maximum extent practicable," to protect water quality and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the CWA. The rule provides for the use of narrative, rather than numeric, effluent limitations that require implementation of best management practices (BMPs).
  3. Under the stormwater phase II final rule, the small MS4 stormwater management program must include the following six (6) minimum control measures, except where a statewide NPDES program exists to address that control measure:
    1. Public education and outreach. Distributing educational materials and performing outreach to inform citizens about the impacts polluted stormwater runoff discharges can have on water quality;
    2. Public participation/involvement. Providing opportunities for citizens to participate in program development and implementation, including effectively publicizing public hearings and/or encouraging citizen representatives on a stormwater management panel;
    3. Illicit discharge detection and elimination. Developing and implementing a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the MS4.
    4. Construction-site runoff control. Developing, implementing, and enforcing an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land or less, if part of a larger common plan or development. ADEM Administrative Code Ch. 335-6-12 implements a statewide construction stormwater regulatory program consistent with NPDES requirements for construction activities.
    5. Postconstruction runoff control. Developing, implementing, and enforcing a program to address discharges of postconstruction stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment areas. ADEM Administrative Code Ch. 335-6-12 implements a statewide construction stormwater regulatory program consistent with NPDES requirements for postconstruction activities.
    6. Pollution prevention/good housekeeping. Developing and implementing a program with the goal of preventing or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The program must include municipal staff training on pollution prevention measures and techniques.
  4. As required by phase II of the NPDES stormwater program, a regulated small MS4 operator must identify its selection of BMPs and measurable goals for each minimum measure in the permit application. The evaluation and assessment of those chosen BMPs and measurable goals must be included in periodic reports to the NPDES permitting authority. The City of Tuscaloosa has prepared and submitted to ADEM a stormwater management plan that addresses these elements.
  5. This article is enacted to preserve, protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, through the reduction, control and prevention of the discharge of pollutants to the MS4. It is the expressed intent of the city council in enacting this article to provide for and promote compliance by the city with federal and state laws governing the discharge of pollutants from the MS4 and to provide for and promote compliance with the NPDES stormwater program and the terms of the city's municipal phase II stormwater permit. This article shall be known as the "Tuscaloosa NPDES Stormwater Compliance Ordinance."
  6. Nothing herein shall be construed to require the city or its officials, employees, agents or attorneys to restore or cause the restoration of property damaged by erosion or sedimentation in violation of this article or to otherwise seek or assist others in seeking compensation to private property owners for any such damage caused by a violation of this article. The city and its officials, employees, agents and attorneys shall not be liable for any condition or damages that result from any failure to observe or recognize a hazardous condition, any failure of an approved plan to prevent erosion or sedimentation, or any failure of the city to cause owners and builders to adhere to the terms of this article. Nothing herein shall be construed to expand the liability of the city or its officials, employees, agents or attorneys nor shall it create any additional, further, different or expanded claim or cause of action.

(Ord. No. 6572, § 1, 2-3-04)

Sec. 21-152. - Illicit discharges.

Recognizing the adverse effects that illicit discharges can have on receiving waters as well as the health, safety, and welfare of local citizens, this article implements and enforces an illicit discharge detection and elimination program.

(a) Illicit discharge prohibitions.

(1) The illicit discharge of pollutants to the MS4 by any person is prohibited. The spilling, dumping, or disposal of materials other than stormwater in such a manner as to cause the illicit discharge of pollutants to the MS4 is also prohibited.

(b) Permits. A separate stormwater permit from the City of Tuscaloosa is not required under this article due to the existing ADEM NPDES stormwater permit program. However, the City of Tuscaloosa expressly reserves the right to protect the MS4, ensure the health, safety, and welfare of local citizens, and to promote compliance with the terms of the city's stormwater phase II permit by detecting and eliminating illicit discharges. Any such illicit discharge shall be eliminated by the application and enforcement of the Code of Tuscaloosa as necessary, regardless of ADEM permit status.

(c) ADEM notice of registration. Each SDP or set of subdivision plans submitted to the city engineer for approval shall include a copy of the proposed ADEM notice of registration specific to the site in question.

(d) Design requirements. Facilities submitted for approval in the subdivision or SDP process shall be designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the MS4 to the "maximum extent practicable", to protect water quality, and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act, the AWPCA and the ADEM NPDES stormwater permit program. Grading, erosion control, sediment control, waterway crossings and any other necessary best management practices shall meet the design criteria set forth in the most recent edition of the Alabama Handbook for Erosion Control, Sediment Control, and Stormwater Management on Construction Sites and Urban Areas.

(e) Inspection. Inspections by the director of transportation/city engineer or his representative for the purpose of identifying potential illicit discharges shall be made as part of the subdivision, site development, or building inspection process, or as the response to a citizen complaint or city council request. Inspections to identify pollutant sources from upland areas may also be generated by the discovery and subsequent investigation and tracing of downstream pollutants in the MS4.

(f) Enforcement. Every effort shall be made to achieve the resolution of isolated violations of this article via the established subdivision, site development permit, and building inspection procedures. Repeated or gross violations of this article or those violations where the aforementioned measures cannot be successfully applied shall be treated as a violation of the Code of Tuscaloosa punishable in accordance with section 11-45-9, Code of Alabama, 1975.

ARTICLE XII. - REGULATION OF CERTAIN LAND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

Land Development Activities Regulations Generally

Sec. 21-210. - Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to establish minimum standards for design and construction of site grading and site and land development projects within the city and within its police jurisdiction. These minimum standards for land development activities are intended to protect and promote the public health, safety and general welfare by requiring the developing party to achieve these goals:

  • The design and construction of safe and durable streets, driveways and parking lots.
  • The design and construction of adequate stormwater drainage systems to reduce flooding.
  • The design and construction of adequate, reliable and durable sanitary sewer systems that prevent illicit discharges.
  • Preparing complete and accurate plans to enable the developing party to adequately address grading and lot issues.
  • Insuring that there are adequate measures in place to control erosion and sediment and that stormwater pollution is reduced and controlled through establishment and maintenance of best management practices during construction and development activities.
  • That appropriate measures have been taken to maintain stormwater sewer systems.

(Ord. No. 7075, § 2, 5-22-07)

Sec. 21-211. - Scope.

This article does not contain all the regulations and requirements for development activities, design and construction nor does a permit issued pursuant to the provisions hereof serve as a substitute for obtaining and complying with all other applicable city ordinances, building and related codes, zoning restrictions, and other applicable regulations. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing development activities may also require building and related technical permits and inspections, compliance with zoning and subdivision ordinances and regulations. Municipal utilities for water and sewer require compliance with separate ordinances and policies of the water and sewer department of the city.

Sec. 21-215. - Design objectives.

The purpose of this article is to establish minimum requirements to be met by a developer or persons with respect to development and driveway activities on property in the area. The design objectives of the developers land development plan and application for a land development permit shall sufficiently and adequately address the following issues:

  1. Safe and functional design of roads, streets, driveways, and parking lots.
  2. Safe and functional design of sidewalks, walkways, trails and other pedestrian routes.
  3. Safe and functional design of drainage inlets, culverts, pipes and open channels.
  4. Minimize flooding, interruptions of utility service, traffic inconvenience and potential water damage to residences and businesses.
  5. Minimize the amount of public expenditures needed for maintenance of streets and roads, flood control projects, flood relief efforts, and stormwater facility maintenance.
  6. Preservation of trees, woods, natural meadows and other green spaces as much as possible (in conjunction with allowable land uses and zoning codes).
  7. Protect and enhance streams, wetlands, waterways and rivers for wildlife and plants by reducing stormwater pollution, erosion, and negative stormwater impacts.
  8. Promote development of recreational facilities and design aesthetics along streams, waterways, wooded areas and other green ways to benefit local neighborhoods.
  9. Protect and enhance the source of drinking water for the city in Lake Tuscaloosa, Harris Lake and Lake Nicol.
  10. Eliminate illicit discharges in the area.
  11. Protect and promote the general welfare of all citizens by achieving the goals of this article.
  12. Preserve and protect existing utilities and utility easements.

(Ord. No. 7075, § 2, 5-22-07)

Tuscaloosa Engineering Office- Land Development Manual Technical Standards

(Latest Revision 12/03/06)

Chapter 2: Storm Drainage Technical Standards

Drainage Standards – Technical

Pipe Requirements:

  1. All pipes will be reinforced concrete, corrugated aluminum or aluminized steel, type II meeting AASHTO specifications.
  2. All joints in any piped section must be properly belled and mortared or rubber gasketed (for concrete) or wrapped and banded (for metal pipe).
  3. All curb inlets shall be ALDOT single or double wing “S” type inlets unless the submitting engineer demonstrates to the satisfaction of the City Engineer that a modification of “s” inlet design is necessary.

Easements: All storm drainage easements that are required to be dedicated to the City of Tuscaloosa must be accepted by the City and will be a minimum of 20 feet wide. Access easements to the storm drainage easement must be a minimum 20 feet wide and be approximately 300 feet apart. Storm drainage easements and access easements will be kept clear of any buildings, fences, trees, shrubs or any other structure or hindrance. Before acceptance by the City, all easements must allow travel upon and to the drainage infrastructure from a public right of way.

Ditches:

  1. All ditches must have a stand of grass established, or be rip rap lined or be concrete lined in accordance with velocities specified below.
  2. Ditches lined with rip-rap will be lined with erosion control matting and the rocks placed at a maximum of a 2 to 1 slope (not steeper than 2:1).
  3. Ditches that are not rip-rap or concrete lined will be sloped at a maximum of 4 to 1 (not steeper than 4:1).

Velocity Requirements:

  1. Minimum velocity for piped and open channel flow structures is two feet per second (2 fps).
  2. Maximum velocity for metal pipe is ten feet per second (10 fps). There is no maximum velocity for concrete pipe.
  3. Maximum velocity for rip rap cross-sections is dependent on the average size of stone. The maximum velocity is fourteen and one half feet per second (14.5 fps). The latest edition of the National Stone Association guidelines must be used to determine stone sizes for velocities less than 14.5 fps.
  4. Maximum velocities for open channel flow are dependent on the ground cover used. The maximum velocity is six feet per second (6 fps) for Bermuda grass. The latest edition of the Design Charts for Open Channel Flow (Federal Highway Administration HD3) will be used to determine the maximum velocity for different grasses.

Detention Facilities:

  1. Detention facilities shall be considered to consist of the area within the maximum design ponding limits, the dam (if utilized), including all embankment slopes and wall footings (if applicable), the primary and emergency spillways and other provisions intended for the control of storm water run-off.
  2. Detention facilities shall be designed and located to promote interception of run-off from the proposed land use.
  3. Detention facilities shall be designed and constructed in conformance with all local, state and federal regulations including but not limited to Section 6-11 of the Code of Tuscaloosa entitled “Construction specifications and permits for dams or the impoundment of waters”.
  4. Detention facilities may be constructed within recreation areas if title to the area is to be held by a property owners association, homeowners association or private entity and the design will not interfere with the intended use of the area.
  5. Detention facilities will be required to have fences, railings, walls, bolt down lids or other structures to limit access. The City Engineer may consider a waiver of this requirement upon written request from the developer.
  6. Detention facilities may be incorporated into lake or pond designs. All such facilities shall be designed and constructed in conformity with applicable city, state and federal regulations.
  7. Plans for detention facilities shall be prepared showing existing and proposed contours (basin type facilities) with a contour interval not greater than two feet. The plans shall include sufficient information indicating positive drainage (dry basins), top of wall or dam to insure adequate freeboard for the 100 year peak stage (minimum one foot), width of dam crest, limits of ponding, maximum ponding elevation, location of facility with respect to property lines, public rights-of-way, easements, and details of the outlet device, dam or wall and other provisions needed to insure the safe, proper and continued function of the facility. Peak flows of existing conditions must be determined for storms of two (2) years, ten (10) years and a hundred (100) year return frequency. The submitting engineer must demonstrate that after the development, the detention basin will not permit outflows in excess of existing peak outflows for the corresponding return frequency. The Rational Method cannot be used to size detention facilities. A design methodology that generates a peak volume must be utilized.
  8. Parking lot detention areas shall be located so as to restrict ponding to areas other than parking spaces near buildings and to not encroach upon entrance/exit drives. The maximum depth of detention ponding in a parking lot, except at a flow control structure, shall be six (6) inches for a 25 year storm and nine (9) inches for a 100 year storm. In truck parking areas, the maximum depth of ponding shall be twelve (12) inches for the 25 year storm. Detention ponding areas are to be drained within 30 minutes after the peak inflow occurs.
  9. If the outlet device utilizes a low flow orifice opening, a trash rack protecting the orifice from blockage from debris may be required.
  10. It shall be unlawful to allow a permitted detention facility to function improperly.

Design Requirements for Best Management Practices (BMP’s) A. Facilities shall be designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) to the “maximum extent practicable” to protect water quality and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act. Grading, erosion control practices, sediment control practices, and waterway crossings shall be adequate to prevent transportation of sediment from the site to the satisfaction of the City Engineer. BMP’s shall meet the requirements of the latest erosion control ordinance and storm water ordinance.

City of Tuscaloosa Stormwater Documents

State of Alabama STORMWATER DOCUMENTS

Alabama Handbook for Erosion Control, Sediment Control and Stormwater Management on Construction Sites and Urban Areas (Rev. No. 3 September 2014)

Runoff Conveyance...p. 93

   
  • Check Dam (CD)
  • Grass Swale (GS)
  • Riprap-lined Swale (RS)
  • Diversions (DV)
  • Lined Swale (LS)
  • Subsurface Drain (SD)
  • Drop Structure (DS)
  • Outlet Protection (OP)
  • Temporary Slope Drain (TSD)

 

Sediment Control...p. 129

 
  • Block and Gravel Inlet Protection (BIP)
  • Filter Strip (FS)
  • Brush/Fabric Barrier (BFB)
  • Floating Turbidity Barrier (FB)
  • Fabric Drop Inlet Protection (FIP)

 

Stormwater Management...p. 179

  • Bioretention Area (BA)
  • Porous Pavement (PP)
  • Stormwater Detention Basin (SDB)

 

Stream Protection...p. 197

 
  • Buffer Zone (BZ)
  • Stream Diversion Channel (SDC)
  • Channel Stabilization (CS)
  • Streambank Protection (SP)