Stormwater Runoff from Construction Sites
Stormwater runoff from construction sites is required to be controlled by City of Austin Erosion and Sedimentation Control (ESC) ordinances and codes, the City of Austin's Erosion and Sedimentation Conrol Criteria in the Environmental Criteria Manual (ECM), and the City's MS4 stormwater permit. Erosion and sedimentation controls must meet certain standards and specifications.
Infill construction on single-family lots is one of the biggest sources of sediment erosion and contaminated runoff in the Zilker Neighborhood and probably the City of Austin as a whole. The City's current enforcement policy has failed to ensure consistent compliance with the City of Austin ESC ordinances and its state/federal MS4 stormwater permit as demonstrated by the photographic documentation of erosion control failures at sites in the Zilker neighborhood. The evidence is overwhelming. It is believed that no citation has ever been issued by the City for any of these sites. Although the City has increased the number of inspectors and implemented a more proactive inspection program, the lack of any significant consequence to violators of the ESC ordinances results in a continuing lack of compliance. The enforcement policy is simply not effective. In addition to demonstrating a failure by the developers and builders to comply with City ordinances, they also demonstrate a failure of the City itself to comply with its TPDES MS4 permit by allowing these developers and builders to continually violate the ESC ordinances.
Reporting Violations to the City
A violation of the City of Austin's Erosion and Sedimentation ordinances and codes can be reported by calling 311. If sediment is actively leaving the site during a rainfall event, call the Pollution Hotline (24 hours/day, 7 days/week) at 512-974-2550.
A violation of the City of Austin's Erosion and Sedimentation ordinances and codes can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org along with photos.
A violation of the City of Austin's Erosion and Sedimentation ordinances and codes can also be reported online. Go to the City's online service request form and choose "Austin Code - Request Code Officer" under Service Type (enter the address under Service Location and choose "Land Use Activity/Zoning" under the Service Information). You will need to describe the problem under Comments because there is no issue for "Erosion and Sedimentation Conrol" under Land Use Activity Issues.
- City of Austin MS4 Permit (TPDES No. WQ0004705000; NPDES No. TXS000401)
- City of Austin MS4 Storm Water Management Program FY 11-16
- City of Austin MS4 Annual Report FY 13-14
- City of Austin MS4 Annual Report FY 14-15
- City of Austin MS4 Annual Report FY 15-16
- City of Austin MS4 Annual Report FY 16-17
- City of Austin Code § 6-5-51 (Discharges into Storm Sewers or Watercourses - Discharge Restrictions)
- City of Austin Code § 6-5-53 (Discharges into Storm Sewers or Watercourses - Discharges from Construction Sites)
- City of Austin Code § 25-8-181 (Erosion and Sedimentation Controls)
- City of Austin Code § 25-8-184 (Additional Erosion and Sedimentation Control in the Barton Springs Zone)
- City of Austin Environmental Criteria Manual - Erosion and Sedimentation Controls
- Specifications and Standards for Erosion and Sedimentation Controls
- TPDES General Permit for Construction Sites That Discharge Stormwater Associated with Construction Activity (> 1 acre)
- Map of the Barton Springs Zone within the Zilker Neighborhood Association Boundaries