Revised Stormwater Ordinance Agreement

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Revised Stormwater Ordinance Agreement

Posted: 11/29/2007
 The City of Knoxville has agreed to withdraw its lawsuit regarding Knox County's recently enacted stormwater ordinance contingent on County Commission's approval of a new revised ordinance.

Mayors Bill Haslam and Mike Ragsdale agreed to the new draft ordinance with the concurrence of the city and county engineering departments.

City Engineers had identified 23 items in the county ordinance that deviated from the requirement that Knox County adopt "drainage standards for development that are at least as strict as the drainage standards used by the City." Following weeks of discussion City and County engineers, along with the city and county mayors, had reached agreement on 22 of the items. Last week both sides met to discuss the final remaining point of disagreement - the requirement regarding materials to be used in pipes used to carry stormwater.

The settlement relative to pipe materials commits Knox County to require:

(1). Only reinforced concrete pipe for "pass through water."

(2). Only reinforced concrete pipe for detention basins and outlet structures and pipes.

(3). Only reinforced concrete pipe in public rights of way except as provided for in (4).

(4). Reinforced concrete, dual wall high density polyethylene, or aluminized corrugated metal pipe in low impact traffic areas within residential subdivisions. Other metal pipe materials, including corrugated metal, are not permitted. At the time of installation a laser deflection test will be performed and certified to ensure structural integrity. Streets classified as "Minor collectors and above" must use only reinforced concrete.

(5). Knox County will also hire four additional storm water engineers to ensure compliance with drainage regulations.

"We appreciate the efforts of Knoxville and Knox County engineers to reach agreement on a strict draft ordinance to control stormwater in the area of the county outside the City of Knoxville" said Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam. "With the newly strengthened enforcement mechanisms this proposed ordinance is essentially the functional equivalent of the City's. It provides downstream protection to the residents of Knoxville as well as to people living outside the city limits.""Water does not recognize political jurisdictions. We look forward to working collaboratively with Knox County to protect the quality of our water and to protect our neighborhoods." "This is the way governments should work together," Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale said. "I thank Mayor Haslam and his staff for their willingness to work with us through the issues to come up with solutions without having to engage in a legal remedy. It's a winning situation for government, citizens and water quality, and I would encourage County Commission to support the revised ordinance."Knox County Engineering will incorporate the changes and will take the revised ordinance to the December meeting of County Commission for adoption on first reading.