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Why is runoff from construction sites a concern for storm water pollution?

Common pollutants of construction site runoff include sediment, solid and sanitary waste, oil and grease, concrete truck washout, and other construction chemicals. However, of this list the main pollutant of concern is sediment. Sediment is the most common pollutant of surface water in the United States. Sediment pollution can come from a variety of sources including agriculture, urban runoff, industrial sites, and construction sites. However, more sediment runs off construction sites compared to other land uses. Even minor construction projects, like room additions, can contribute to sediment pollution if not managed properly.

What is sediment?

Sediment is loose dirt and soil. Sediment can come from two sources: decomposition or erosion. Decomposition is the process that breaks down plants and animals. Erosion is the process that removes dirt, soil, and rock from one location on the earth’s surface and moves it to another location. Erosion is a natural process that is influenced by the movement of wind and water. However, human activities that disturb the land can make erosion happen more quickly.

How does sediment pollute our creeks, streams, bays and estuaries?

  • Sediment fills up storm drains and catch basins that carry rain water away, increasing the potential for flooding.
  • Sediment can make water cloudy, preventing animals such as fish and birds from being able to see their food.
  • Cloudy water can kill plants that live in water and prevent new plants from growing in the water.
  • Sediment can clog the gills of fish, making it difficult for fish to breathe. Fish may avoid areas that have too much sediment.
  • Sediment can fill up natural water bodies, altering the flow of water making it unsuitable for fish and other animals, and making it difficult to boat.
  • Sediment can increase the temperature of the water, making it difficult for plants, fish and other wildlife to survive.
  • Chemical pollutants attach to and are carried along with the sediment to the receiving water body. Bacterial pollution is also associated with sediment.


What agency requires Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans for construction sites?

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has specific requirements for construction storm water pollution prevention programs (SWP3) to minimize pollution from construction sites.

Where do I submit construction notices and plans in the City of Corpus Christi?

Submit all Notices and Plans to:

City of Corpus Christi
Development Services
2406 Leopard St.
Corpus Christi, TX 78408
(361) 826-3240

What does the City of Corpus Christi require for storm water pollution prevention on construction sites?

Development of sites one (1) acre or more must provide the following to the City's Director of Development Services:

  • Copy of NPDES or TPDES Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan
  • Copy of any notice of intent (NOI) provided to EPA or TCEQ
  • Copy of Construction Site Notice that was posted
  • Copy of Notice of Termination (NOT) submitted to EPA or TCEQ
  • Copy of any Small Construction Site Notice that was removed

Development of sites less than one (1) acre and more than one-quarter (1/4) acre:

  • A pollution control plan is required onsite
  • Submission of a site-specific pollution control plan is not required for a single-lot, single-family residential construction, unless it is part of a larger development that requires an NPDES or TPDES permit
  • Pollution control plan must be submitted to the building official for review before issuance of a building permit or approval to begin development
  • Implementation of the pollution control measures detailed in the plan is required
  • A certificate of occupancy will not be issued until the building official is satisfied that all temporary and permanent pollution control measures specified by the plan are complete

Development of sites one-quarter acre or less:

  • In order to obtain a building permit, a responsible party shall provide a written acknowledgement that the responsible party is aware of the pollution control measures of the city and that the responsible party will comply with these measures during the development of the property
  • In order to obtain a certificate of occupancy, a responsible party must certify that all necessary temporary or permanent pollution control measures specified in section 14-1006, pollution control measures, are in place
  • Prior to requesting acceptance of any improvements required by Section V of the platting ordinance, a responsible party must certify that all necessary permanent pollution control measures specified in Section 14-1006, pollution control measures, other than the required stabilization, are in place

What is required if I am excavating and plan to discharge groundwater to the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System?

Discharges or releases of groundwater into the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System must be authorized by the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Team, as required by Article XVI Section 55-203 of the City’s Code of Ordinances. 

What information is required to apply for an authorization to discharge groundwater?

  • Identify the first water body, also called the receiving water body, that the groundwater will enter once it is discharged
  • Compare groundwater discharge quality to the quality of the receiving water body
  • Analyze the groundwater for hydrocarbon contamination
  • Implement pollution prevention measures
  • Complete the Request for Authorization to Discharge to the City of Corpus Christi Municipal Separate Sewer System Form
  • Submit the form

How do I apply for authorization to discharge groundwater?

Complete the Request for Authorization to Discharge to the City of Corpus Christi Municipal Separate Sewer System Form. Send the form to:

Attn. Robert Anderson / Felipe Martinez / Rebecca Ayala
City of Corpus Christi Storm Water
PO BOX 9277
Corpus Christi, TX 78469-9277