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Clean Water Ordinance - Construction

NPDES Permitting Requirements
Clean Water Ordinance 

Under NPDES Phase II Permit No. ALR040041, the City of Spanish Fort is required to manage and maintain its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). To meet the requirements of the permit, the City has recently passed a "Clean Water Ordinance" to establish regulations, procedures, and design standards for future development within its jurisdiction.  This page seeks to educate the construction community and general public on the new legislation.

Land Disturbance Permit Required

Land Disturbance Permit Application Form

The Clean Water Ordinance requires a permit for any activity which disturbs at least 1000 ft2 of land before a Building Permit may be issued. Before the permit may be issued, the permittee must submit the following:

  • Small Sites (Class 2) - for sites disturbing at least 1000 ft2, but less than one acre of land:
    • A $25 permit fee
    • A Construction Best Management Practices site plan 
  • Priority Sites (Class 1) - for sites disturbing one acre of land or greater, or those within a priority watershed:

    • A $100 permit fee
    • A Construction Best Management Practices Plan (CBMPP) prepared by a QCP
    • Receipt of Notice of Intent or proof of coverage under ADEM NPDES permit
    • Any applicable ALDOT or USACOE permits

*All Land Disturbance Permits require an initial inspection once the lot has been cleared and BMPs are in place as well as a final inspection after the site has been stabilized. Initial site inspection must be completed before work can begin on the site.

Construction Best Management Practices Plan Required


  • Small Sites - will be required to provide a sketch including the location of any silt fencing, gravel drives, and other Best Management Practices that will be used to complete the proposed project.
  • Priority Sites - will be required to submit a CBMPP prior to issuance of a Land Disturbance Permit or during the Preliminary Plat Review phase of Planning Commission approval. The CBMPP will include a site plan(s) and a design report including a hydrologic-hydraulic study.

Construction Best Management Practices Plan requirements for Small and Priority sites can be found in Section XIII of the Clean Water Ordinance.

​An example of the Small Site (Class 2) BMP Plan can be found below:

Temporary Best Management Practices Regulated Under the Land Disturbance Permit

  • Good Housekeeping
    • Accommodations shall be made for both construction debris and household trash (bottles, bags, wrappers, etc.) produced on site.
    • It is the responsibility of the permittee to ensure all lots are kept free of loose trash that may be transported off-site by wind or water in accordance with Section VIII of this Ordinance. A violation may constitute an immediate Stop Work Order and/or Municipal Offense Ticket
  • Construction Access Pads
    • All construction pads shall be constructed in accordance with the Alabama Handbook unless otherwise prescribed in this Ordinance.
      • Small Sites:
        • The construction pad must be a minimum twelve feet (12’) wide and extend from curb to building footprint, or at least fifty feet (50’), whichever is most feasible, with aggregate of substantial size to remove soil and mud from the tires of construction vehicles.
        • There shall be only one construction pad per permitted lot, which shall serve as the only access point to the lot. Any soil or mud tracked into the street shall be removed immediately.
      • Priority Sites:
        • Construction pad(s) shall be no less than twenty feet (20’) wide and fifty feet (50’) long with aggregate of substantial size to remove soil and mud from the tires of construction vehicles.
    • It is the responsibility of the permittee to ensure that no construction vehicles damage or destroy BMPs or track mud or soil into the street.
    • A non-woven geotextile underliner is required for all construction pads.
    • If soil or mud infiltrates the exit pad to the extent that it can longer serve its intended purpose, the pad shall be removed and replaced promptly.
    • Stockpiles of soil shall not be placed atop the construction pad.
  • Portable Sanitation
    • Each permitted site must have access to a portable toilet within one hundred feet (100’) of the permitted site boundary.
    • Portable toilets must be at least fifty feet (50’) from any storm drain inlet and must be placed inside the silt fence area.
    • Any spill resulting from a portable toilet must be cleaned immediately.  Failure to do so shall constitute the immediate issuance of a Stop Work Order and/or Municipal Offense Ticket.
  • Sediment Control
    • “Class A” wire reinforced silt fence is required along each downslope perimeter that may receive a sediment load.
    • All ends of silt fence shall be installed upslope so as to capture runoff.
    • When joining two sections of silt fence, stakes shall overlap to ensure effectiveness.
    • Filtered sediment shall not accumulate to more than one half (½) the height of a silt fence, at which point sediment shall be removed to maintain capacity and reduce stress on the fence.
    • Slopes greater than 2:1 shall require supplemental silt fencing, wattle(s) and/or sediment retention barrier(s).
    • Efforts shall be made to reduce the amount of disturbed land on a given lot to the maximum extent possible.
    • On “Small Sites”, a filter strip or mulch buffer no less than one foot (1’), measured from the silt fence or lot perimeter inward, is required along each edge of the permitted lot. “Priority Sites” shall require a filter strip no less than five feet (5’).
    • The permittee shall provide temporary cover for disturbed areas immediately whenever work toward project completion and Final Stabilization of any portion of the site has temporarily ceased, not to resume for a period exceeding thirteen (13) calendar days.
    • The best form of sediment control is erosion control; therefore, the City encourages the minimization of land disturbance area to the maximum extent practicable.
  • Stockpiles
    • Soil may only be stockpiled at sites identified in the CBMPP.
    • Stockpiles shall be located at least one hundred feet (100’) from a jurisdictional wetland and/or Water of the State.
    • Stockpiles shall be contained on all sides by “Class A” silt fence and accessed by an adequate construction access pad no less than twenty feet (20’) wide by fifty feet (50’) long.
  • Washout Facilities
    • Concrete, paint and other hazardous materials must be washed out only in designated containment facilities indicated on the CBMP Plan.
  • Certificate of Occupancy
    • The permittee shall ensure all construction waste and debris, silt fences, wattles, inlet protection, and other temporary BMPs are removed prior to final inspection.
    • Permanent vegetation must be in place before a Certificate of Occupancy may be issued.
    • Any off-site impacts shall, with property owner permission, be mitigated prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. If the removal involves streams or wetlands, proper Federal and State permits shall be required prior to removal.
  • Swimming Pool Best Management Practices
    • The following are minimum requirements for all in-ground swimming pool installations, unless otherwise indicated:
      • All in-ground swimming pool installations shall require a Land Disturbance Permit issued to a licensed contractor in possession of a Spanish Fort Business License.
      • A CBMP Plan, including the location and plans for removal of the excavated stockpile, is required together with the Plot Plan upon application for permits. It is not required that the CBMP Plan be prepared by a QCP.
      • Swimming pools are prohibited from discharging wastewater into the MS4 by way of any adjoining property unless otherwise specified by this Ordinance or the Authorized Enforcement Personnel.
      • Swimming pools shall discharge into the storm drainage system along the street only after all measures have been taken to effectively filter and treat wastewater to remove all particulates, pathogens, bacteria and neutralize any chemicals (chlorine and salt), unless otherwise indicated by the Authorized Enforcement Personnel.
      • Any violation of this section shall be subject to enforcement proceedings, prosecution and penalties detailed below.