Stormwater Services & Utility

Cues Pipe Ranger

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Stormwater Services Division deploys new 'Pipe Ranger' for underground inspections

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Change for the Stormwater Utility Fee

Prior to July 1, 2018 the fee was $4.63 per month per equivalent residential unit (ERU) of impervious surface. As of July 1, 2018, the fee for 1 ERU is now $4.86 per month. An ERU is the amount of impervious surface (rooftops, walkways, patios, driveways, parking lots, etc.) on the property. It is measured in square feet on a typical, single-family property in Asheville. One ERU equals 2,442 square feet of impervious surface. More utility fee information

The Asheville Stormwater Utility

The City of Asheville Stormwater Utility collects fees from property owners in Asheville in order to:

  • Plan for, improve and operate the stormwater system in an efficient and effective manner;
  • Adopt development policies and standards that prevent flooding, preserve streams and channels, and minimize water pollution without arresting new or infill development;
  • Develop detailed watershed plans that promote orderly growth;
  • Fully comply with federal and state regulatory requirements;
  • Educate the public about stormwater issues and involve them in stormwater initiatives; and
  • Implement utility fees to meet these needs in a fair an equitable manner.

Stormwater is rain that falls on streets, roofs, parking lots and other man made surfaces and flows down gutters and into storm drains. The storm drain system empties directly into creeks, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water. When rain flows into the storm drain system, it picks up pollutants like pesticides, paint, household chemicals, sediment, yard waste, detergents, oil and grease, trash and pet waste. Stormwater runoff is the #1 source of impairment for freshwater streams and shorelines in North Carolina. Stormwater and stormwater pollution can contaminate drinking water sources, sicken swimmers, disrupt aquatic habitats, cause fish kills, contribute to flash flooding, and cause land and stream bank erosion.

Stormwater Services

The federal government requires the City of Asheville and all similarly-sized U.S. cities to create and maintain stormwater programs in an effort to restore and maintain the integrity of our nation’s waters by sharply reducing water pollution. The city’s stormwater program is a requirement established by the federal government’s Clean Water Act (CWA), which is dedicated to implementing broad-based watershed strategies to reduce water pollution. These strategies include: maintaining and improving the public storm drain system, enforcing stormwater and erosion standards related to (re)construction activities, preventing illegal dumping in the storm drain system, and educating the public about stormwater issues. The Stormwater division is also responsible for the installation, maintenance, repair and revitalization of the storm drainage, catch basins, pipes, etc., within the city's streets, rights-of-way and dedicated storm water easement. The City works closely with the US Army Corps of Engineers, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, US Environmental Protection Agency, NC Department of Transportation, Buncombe County Government, along with many others in regard to stormwater projects and flood mitigation projects. The division coordinates public-private stormwater damage abatement projects as approved by City Council.

installing culvert

Development in the Floodplain

The City of Asheville Ordinance Sec. 7-5-12. regulates development activities in the floodplain. The permitting and inspection process helps to ensure that development occurs in a manner which protects life safety as well as property and the natural environment, which in turn reduces insurance costs. Depending on the type of development activity, a stormwater permit may be required. The review process helps to ensure the design meets the city’s development guidelines and rules. The inspections process helps to ensure the constructed structures comply with the City’s specifications. The NC Division of Water Resources and US Army Corps of Engineers want you to know that there are many important facts to know before working in streams or wetlands.

Development Services Department, Stormwater Plan Review contacts:
Ric Ledford
Nancy Watford

Development Services Department, Stormwater Inspection contacts:
Monte Clampett
Danny Gibson
Daniel Hysong 
Toby Shelton

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Federal Stormwater Requirements

The federally-mandated National Pollutant Discharge Elimination system (NPDES) Phase II Stormwater Program is an effort to preserve, protect and improve the nation’s water resources from polluted runoff. The City of Asheville and all similarly-sized U.S. cities are required to hold and implement the provisions of a federal stormwater permit with the intent of protecting water quality. The six required components of the federal NPDES Phase II Stormwater permit are:

  • Public Education
  • Public Involvement
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction Site Runoff Controls
  • Post-Construction Site Runoff Controls
  • Good Housekeeping/Pollution Prevention of Municipal Facilities.

The City of Asheville received its initial NPDES permit (#NCS000435) for the discharge of stormwater from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality in July 2005. The permit was renewed on November 11, 2011 and is effective until November 10, 2016. The permit was renewed once again on February 17, 2017 and is effective until February 16, 2022. No state or federal resources are provided to municipalities to implement these measures. The City produces and annual Stormwater Management Plan report each year detailing the compliance with the permit requirements. For more information about the NPDES Phase II Stormwater Program, visit the NC Division of Water Quality and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Annual Stormwater Management Plan Reports:

strategic initiatives

Emergency Sediment and Erosion Control Violations

If you see emergency sediment, erosion or illicit discharge violations within the city limits during normal business hours 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. call (828) 232-4567, after normal business hours, weekends and holidays please contact our on call duty officer (828) 251-1122.

The on call duty officer will only respond to the following violation criteria:

  • Mud or sediment in a roadway, yard or basement directly related to a weather event.
  • Mud or sediment in a roadway, yard or basement when the sources of the water are not known.
  • Failure of an erosion control system that has been witnessed by a citizen or passerby.
  • Illicit discharge violations into the city owned storm drains.

Please take the criteria under consideration before you report any violation.

Stormwater Ordinance

The Stormwater Services strives to protect local water quality by way of the current Stormwater Ordinance. The ordinance, adopted in August 2007, brought the city into compliance with NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources regulations. Some provisions could impact the future development plans of landowners along streams. These stream protection and erosion rules, and any revisions to them, can affect both future development and the city’s ability to maintain water quality in rivers, streams and lakes. The City of Asheville has held several public input sessions to gain feedback and describe the process being used to reconsider certain provisions. With the public input, the final product was developed by staff and the Watershed Policy Committee (consisting of City staff, members of the development community, owners of private property in the city and environmental representatives) and adopted June 8, 2010. Click on the following to view the current ordinance:


Stormwater Services Division
Public Works Department

McCray Coates, Stormwater Services Manager
Physical Address: Public Works Building, 161 S. Charlotte St.
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802
Stormwater Services Hours: 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday
Main Line: (828) 232-4567

We Are An Award Winning Division

  • American Trails National Trails Award - 2015 Partnership Award - Level 2 – City of Asheville and New Belgium Brewery
  • 2010 NCDENR Award for Large Sedimentation and Erosion Control Program

We are an NC811 Safe Digging Partner

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