Development Services Department
Stormwater Management Program

Director: Derek C.S. Burr

Phone: (205) 325-5321
Hotline: (205) 325-5792

Program Description
The Jefferson County Stormwater program is under the division of Engineering, Planning, & Permitting of the Development Services Department and is responsible for addressing pollution that enters the County’s municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), thereby improving water quality in the waterways of Jefferson County. To maximize the program’s efficiency, the Stormwater program utilizes a broad approach which includes inter departmental collaboration to ensure Jefferson County is meeting federal and state regulations in order to reduce the amount of stormwater pollution flowing into and through local rivers, creeks, lakes and streams.

The Stormwater Fee
The Phase 1 NPDES MS4 program is mandated by federal law but is not funded by the federal government. The Alabama Legislature passed AL 95-775 so a fee can be collected to finance Stormwater programs. For unincorporated Jefferson County, the program is financed through a fee that is assessed on property parcels. The storm water fee appears on the yearly property tax bill. In 2014, the original Act AL 95-755 was amended in a legislative session that revised the structure of the storm water fee.

Jefferson County Clean Water Awareness Campaign
The Clean Water Awareness Campaign was implemented to inform and educate the public, as well as affect behavioral change in order to reduce polluted stormwater runoff caused by vehicle fluids, yard chemicals, pet waste,and litter. The campaign consists of a collaborative network of agencies and organizations whose missions intersect with stormwater pollution prevention in some manner. A series of posters was created to deliver stormwater pollution prevention information in a highly visual manner in order to attract attention while overcoming language barriers. Each poster utilizes catchy headlines and taglines to further engage the public. The posters juxtapose potential stormwater pollution problems with practical solutions that focus on the benefits they bring to residents. An e-newsletter was launched to provide a cost effective way to support the posters and relate components of the Clean Water Awareness Campaign. The e-newsletter content expands upon the poster topics and provides links to resources that can assist positive behavioral change.

Regulations & Permitting
Article 13 of the Jefferson County Subdivision and Construction Ordinance requires that individuals conducting land disturbing activities in unincorporated areas of the County apply for a land disturbing activity permit, submit a stormwater management plan, and implement effective erosion and sedimentation controls at construction sites. Please note that the placement of a mobile home, modular building, storage building or any pre-fabricated structure must be properly permitted PRIOR to installation at the site. The permit process may involve other agencies, which are housed in different buildings and locations. Below is a brief description of the permitting process to help citizens better understand and plan for permits in the unincorporated Jefferson County areas.

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Individual Phase I Permit

To obtain a building permit for any Individual Residential Structures (including additions, mobile homes or accessory buildings) you will need the following:

  • Sanitary Waste Approval for
    • Septic System from Health Department, Or
    • Sanitary Sewer from Environmental Services           
  • Zoning Approval, Land Disturbing Permit, and 
  • Building Permit from Development Services

* If your construction site or property is located within the corporate limits of a city, please contact the respective Municipality for their permitting procedures.