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Stormwater Compliance for Utah Construction Projects

There are a few forms of regulation and compliance that must be met during construction projects around Utah, and one of the most notable in many cases is stormwater compliance. There are several construction site regulations that must be maintained and complied with at all times if polluted stormwater will be discharged from the site, including a number of Utah-specific SWPPP (stormwater pollution prevention plan) requirements.

At Cearley SWPPP, we're here to offer an extensive range of SWPPP solutions to clients around Utah, including SWPPP inspections, SWPPP documentation and more. Here are some of the basic requirements for stormwater compliance on Utah construction projects, including what defines an area that will require permits, the kinds of permits you may need to consider applying for, and some BMPs (best management practices) for maintaining compliance.

Stormwater Compliance

Minimum Size Requirements

Firstly, it's important to know how Utah defines construction sites that will require SWPPP setups and stormwater compliance. A permit is required for any soil disturbance of at least one acre - and there are cases where land under an acre will also be included if it's part of a common plan of development or sale that's over an acre in total.

What does "soil disturbance" mean? This refers to any clearing, grading or excavating that takes place. For instance, if you're doing any kind of construction work that will penetrate the soil (including digging trenches, building structures and more), this is considered to be soil disturbance.

The role of these permits is to ensure that construction sites are compliant with various environmental requirements, including meeting standards for discharge of stormwater.

Types of Permits

There are several types of permits available for different types of construction projects in Utah. Here are some of the most common:

  • Construction general permit: This is required for any construction project that will disturb at least one acre. As we noted above, it also includes any smaller sites that are part of a larger plan of development or sale.
  • Common plan permit: This permit is for disturbances of an acre or less on singular residential lots that were subdivided for separate sale after October of 1992. This encompasses many different homes and residential construction projects.
  • Construction dewatering/hydrostatic: Abbreviated CDHT, this permit is for any construction site where dewatering or hydrostatic testing will be carried out. This can be done on an in-stream, surface area or groundwater setting.

In each of these cases, you can apply online for the proper permit. Visit the Utah Department of Environmental Quality's website to learn more.


Two vital acronyms within stormwater compliance are SWPPP and BMP, which stand for stormwater pollution prevention plan and best management practices, respectively. At Cearley SWPPP, we help you establish both of these for your construction project to keep you in compliance with Utah regulations and standards.

SWPPPs are detailed plans that outline specific measures being taken on the site to prevent pollution of stormwater - things like erosion control measures, sediment controls and more. BMPs, meanwhile, refer to specific practices or techniques used to implement those measures effectively.

Examples of common BMPs include:

  • Sediment barriers: These barriers are placed between disturbed areas and bodies of water nearby to prevent sediment from running off into them.
  • Silt fencing: Similar to sediment barriers but made with fabric or netting, silt fencing is another common means of preventing sediment from escaping the construction site.
  • Inlet protection: Also known as drain inlet protection, this method involves installing structures around stormwater inlets to prevent debris and other pollutants from entering them.
  • Street sweeping: For sites located near roads or highways, regular street sweeping can be an effective means of preventing sediment and other pollutants from entering storm drains and waterways.
  • Signage and notifications: Sometimes, the simplest BMPs can be some of the most effective. Clear signage and notifications around construction sites can help prevent accidental pollution by reminding workers and visitors of best practices.

This is far from an exhaustive list. Once again, if you're looking for a comprehensive list, head to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality's website where a full list is kept.

As you can see, stormwater compliance is a vital aspect of any construction project in Utah. With the help of Cearley SWPPP, we can ensure that you meet all necessary regulations and keep your project running smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help with your SWPPP needs anywhere around the state!