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Stormwater Regulations

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General Overview

Rain ditchThe Washington County Stormwater Pollution Prevention, Grading, and Erosion Control regulation prohibits the release of common stormwater contaminants including trash, yard waste, chemicals, pet waste, wastewater, oil, petroleum products, cleaning products, paint products, hazardous waste and sediment. The Stormwater regulation applies to projects:

  • Inside the urbanized areas, outside city limits (urbanized areas as determined by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality)
  • One or more acre(s) in size, and any lot in a subdivision regardless of size; in the designated areas

If a project falls within the designated areas of Washington County and disturbs one or more acres, the Environmental Affairs Office requires the following before approval is given:

  • An approved Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3)
  • Grading plans (if applicable)
  • Erosion Control Plan
  • Application Fee (see below)

Permitting Process

    1.  Complete a Washington County Stormwater Permit Application.

    2.  Submit completed application to the Washington County Environmental Affairs Office.
    Environmental Affairs
    2615 Brink Dr. 
    Fayetteville, AR 72701

    3.  If project needs Planning Department approval, stormwater application must be submitted to the Planning Department with other required project documents by project submittal deadlines.

    4.  Once plan is approved, all documents are complete, and fees have been paid a stormwater permit will be issued.

Details Of Regulation Requirements

Preparation of Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3)

  • Must be prepared by a qualified person
  • Must give name, address, and phone number of project owner
  • Identify existing natural resources such as streams, forest cover and other established vegetative cover
  • Specify and give details of all Best Management Practices (BMPs) [PDF] necessary to meet requirements of the program, including any applicable BMPs that have been adopted and imposed by the Environmental Affairs Officer (EAO)
  • Specify when each BMP will be installed and duration it will be maintained during construction sequence. This may require multiple plans for major phases of construction
  • Delineate all anticipated disturbed areas and specify the vegetative cover that must be established in those areas to achieve final stabilization


  • BMPs must be installed and maintained by a qualified person
  • The owner, developer and/ or their representative shall be able to produce a copy of the SWP3 plan on site upon the request of the EAO
  • Be prepared to respond to unforeseen maintenance of specific BMPs
  • Inspect all BMPs at least two (2) times per month and within 24 hours after a rainfall of ½ inch or more as measured at the site or generally reported in the area
  • Based on the inspections by the owner and/ or developer or the EAO modifications to the SWP3 plan will be necessary, if at any time specified BMP’s do not meet the objectives

Requirements for Utility Construction

  • Prior to construction utility agencies shall obtain from the owner and/ or developer a copy of any SWP3s for the project
  • Utility agencies shall be responsible for compliance with the requirements of this program
  • Implement BMPs to prevent the release of sediment from utility construction sites. Minimize disturbed areas. Disturbed soil should be managed and construction site entrances shall be managed to prevent sediment tracking onto public streets

Grading Plans

  • Applies to any person proposing to engage in clearing, filling, cutting, quarrying, construction or similar activities on any piece of disturbed land one (1) acre or larger including a single lot in a subdivision. No land shall be altered or cleared to the extent regulated in this program unless a plan has been filed with the Environmental Affairs office.
  • Grading plans are not applicable to dirt pits, gravel pits, or quarries which are governed by State laws, however a SWP3 plan is still required
  • All land alteration in properties within the designated floodplain requires a grading plan without exception
  • A grading plan is not required for emergency work or repairs to protect health, safety and welfare of the public

Contents of Grading & Drainage Plans

  • Acreage of proposed project
  • Land area to be disturbed
  • States of grading showing the limits of sections to be graded and indicate the approximate order of development
  • Height and slope of cuts and fills (see regulation for specification requirements)
  • Provision for collection and discharge of surface water
  • Erosion and sediment measures- structural and vegetative
  • Seal, Certificate of Authority and signature of a qualified engineer under state regulation to certify that the grading and drainage plan complies with this program, ADEQ regulations, and any regulations promulgated hereto.
  • A vicinity drawing showing locations
  • Location of all known existing sewers, water mains, culverts and underground utilities within the tract and immediately adjacent thereto; location of existing permanent buildings on or immediately adjacent to the site
  • Identification of rights-of-way or easements affecting the property
  • A plan of the site at a minimum scale of one inch equals one hundred feet or less
  • Other information may be required by the EAO (see regulation for list)
  • The EAO may allow minor modifications of the plan to alleviate particular problems during the process of construction


  • A fee for each plan filed with the Environmental Affairs office shall be remitted as follows:
    • Total project area 1 acre or less $50.00
    • Total project area greater than 1 acre $100.00

Frequently Asked Questions

Who does the regulation apply to?

  • Anyone disturbing one (1) or more acres of land during the life of the construction project, and each lot in a subdivision regardless of size, in the urbanized/unincorporated area of Washington County.
  • Dirt pits disturbing 1 or more acres of land in the urbanized/unincorporated area
  • Junkyards disturbing 1 or more acres of land in the urbanized/unincorporated area
  • All contractors, subcontractors, and utility companies on a jobsite where a permit is required

What does the County require?

  • An approved Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) including erosion control techniques and best Management Practices (BMPs)
  • Grading plans (dirt pits do not require grading plans)
  • A fee for each plan
  • An approved Stormwater Permit issued by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), if applicable

What are the costs?

  • 1 acre or less $50.00 per plan
  • Greater than 1 acre $100.00 per plan
  • Any costs incurred by the County utilizing the services of the County Engineer will require a fee to be paid by the plan applicant

Does this take the place of my stormwater permit and requirements of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)?

  • No, all regulations and requirements set forth by ADEQ must still be followed
  • Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
    Water Division - Permits Branch
    Jamal Solaimanian, General Permit Section Supervisor
    ADEQ Stormwater General Permits


2013 MS4 Annual Report for Washington County

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