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How Do I Comply with the Stormwater Management Requirements?

If you are constructing a Large Project (≥5,000 square feet), the following actions are required:

Step 1: Determine if your project is located in an area served by the combined or separate sewer system.


Step 2: Identify the applicable performance requirement, as indicated by sewer system.
  • Combined Sewer Areas
    • Sites with existing imperviousness of ≤50%: stormwater runoff rate and volume shall not exceed pre-development conditions for the 1-and 2-year, 24-hour design storm
    • Sites with existing imperviousness of >50%: stormwater runoff rate and volume must be reduced by 25% relative to pre-development conditions for the 2-year, 24-hour design storm
  • Separate Sewer Areas
    • Capture and treat the rainfall from a design storm of 0.75 inches

More information on the SMR performance requirements can be found in the SMR, Chapters 5 & 6.

Step 3: Schedule a pre-application meeting with the SMR Project Review Team

Scheduling a pre-application meeting early during the planning and team building process is encouraged to minimize design challenges and project schedule delays. Project proponents should come prepared with relevant project information such as: existing site condition, site plans, overall architectural plans/elevations, soil conditions, and the proposed stormwater concepts, etc.

Email stormwaterreview@sfwater.org to schedule a 60 minute pre-application meeting. Meetings can be scheduled Tuesdays 1 - 4 PM or Thursdays 10 AM - 1 PM.

Step 4: Submit a Modified Compliance Application (if applicable)

To establish a more fair and flexible standard, projects with proven site challenges and limitations are eligible to meet the SMR by adhering to the Modified Compliance Program. The Modified Compliance Program:

  • Applies only to projects in the Combined Sewer System
  • Evaluates site limitations such as: high groundwater, shallow depth to bedrock, poorly infiltrating soils, contamination, and zero lot-line projects
  • Assesses project potential for non-potable demand
  • Modifies volume and peak rate reduction requirements based on approved site-specific constraints

To be considered for the Modified Compliance Program, a completed application, available for download in the Additional Resources section below, must be submitted to stormwaterreview@sfwater.org prior to submitting a Preliminary SCP. More information on the Modified Compliance Program can be found in the SMR, Chapter 5.

Step 5: Submit a Preliminary Stormwater Control Plan

Develop a Preliminary Stormwater Control Plan (SCP) in accordance with the SCP Instructions and submit it for review and approval to the SFPUC. A Preliminary SCP must be approved by the SFPUC prior to issuance of a Site or Building Permit from the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection.

More information on the Stormwater Control Plan submittal and review process can be found in the SMR, Chapters 4 & 9. The SCP Instructions and tools for developing an SCP can be found in the Additional Resources section.

Step 6: Submit a Final Stormwater Control Plan

Once the Preliminary SCP is approved with conditions, a Final SCP needs to be submitted for review by the SFPUC prior to construction and parallel to the DBI addenda permitting process. Whereas a Preliminary SCP generally demonstrates the stormwater management approach, the Final SCP provides more construction level detail and background information that proves the stormwater management approach complies with the SMR and functions safely. If the Final SCP is complete and demonstrates compliance with the SMR, it will receive Approval with Conditions. Typical Conditions are outlined in Step 7 and must be completed to obtain Final Approval.

A Final SCP must be approved by the SFPUC prior to issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion from the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection.

Step 7: Submit a Maintenance Agreement and Certification of Acceptable Construction.

Projects are required to install stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and maintain them in perpetuity. A Maintenance Agreement must be signed and recorded to acknowledge and accept this maintenance responsibility.

During construction, the project’s Engineer of Record and/or Landscape Architect must observe all BMPs at major stages of construction and upon completion to ensure that the BMPs have been built in general accordance with the Final SCP Approved with Conditions. A Certification of Acceptable Construction must be signed and submitted to the SFPUC to verify observation of BMP construction.

The Maintenance Agreement Recordation Instructions and Template as well as the Certification of Acceptable Construction are available for download in the Additional Resources section. More information on the Maintenance Agreement and Certification of Acceptable Construction can be found in the SMR, Chapter 9.

Step 8: Inspect green infrastructure annually and submit Self-Certification Checklist(s) to the SFPUC

Once the project is complete, the property owner or a designated party must perform Annual Self-Certification inspections of all green infrastructure to ensure proper maintenance and functionality. Annual Self-Certification Checklists are due to the SFPUC prior to each rainy season on October 15th of each year after project completion.

Annual Self-Certification Checklists and Instructions for each BMP type are available for download in the Additional Resources section. More information on Annual Self-Certification inspection can be found in the SMR, Chapter 10.

If you’re constructing a Small Project (2,500-5,000 square feet in Separate Sewer Areas) the following action is required:



Step 1. Implement at least one Site Design Measure, as outlined in Chapter 6 of the SMR.

Step 2. Submit an estimated runoff reduction volume to the SFPUC using the State Water Board SMARTS calculator, available for download in the Additional Resources section.

Last updated: 9/13/2016 2:05:38 PM