What is a SWPPP?

August 5, 2014 by Marisa Keiser

A SWPPP, or SW3P, is a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.

A SWPPP is a fundamental requirement of stormwater permits. As runoff flows over land and impervious surfaces, it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment, etc., that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff discharge is untreated. This will lead to unsafe water for drinking, fishing, swimming and other activities.

A well prepared SWPPP will help a construction operator as follows:

  • Identifies all potential sources of pollution which may reasonably be expected to affect the quality of storm water discharges from the construction site.
  • Describes practices to be used to reduce pollutants in storm water discharges from the construction site. (We want to divert the clean water, and trap the dirty water)
  • Helps assure compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit (when the plan is designed for the individual site, and is fully implemented)
  • Provides inspection and reporting procedures.
Lots of Silt Fence
This environmentally sensitive project spared no expense on the silt fence, and had a well prepared SWPPP.


When do I need a SWPPP?

According to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and associated federal regulations require nearly all construction site operators engaged in clearing, grading, excavation activities that disturb one acre or more, including smaller sites in a larger common plan of development or sale, are required to prepare a SWPPP and obtain coverage under Nation Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

Visit the TCEQ website for information on Storm Water Permitting requirements.

Do you have questions about Storm Water Permitting in Texas? Well, you’re in the right place. Contact us today at (512) 669-5560 if you have any questions about storm water permitting.

Written by Marisa Keiser

Marisa Keiser

Marisa Keiser is a project engineer in the Houston office of BIG RED DOG. Marisa graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2011 and joined the BIG RED DOG team full time in June 2014. Marisa started her career in our Austin office and transferred to our Houston office in January 2016. Her professional experience consists of educational facilities, single family and multifamily developments, and commercial sites. Her design work includes site, utility, drainage analysis, water quality and detention ponds, site investigation reports and due diligence investigations. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, camping/hiking and reading.