Christopher S. Howley, P.E.
Engineering Planning Chief
City County Building, Suite 480
P.O. Box 1631
Knoxville TN 37901
The Stormwater Engineering Division performs a wide variety of tasks: review of site development plans and final property plats, attendance & technical support at MPC meetings, drainage complaints and investigations, inspection of grading projects, stormwater quality monitoring, stormwater planning, and streetlight design. The Stormwater Engineering Division is responsible for reviewing all subdivision designs to ensure that construction will conform to requirements for street design, drainage, stormwater detention, grading, erosion control, etc.
The City of Knoxville has adopted new standard details for COK-10 (Type "B" Cast Iron Frame, Grate and Inlet) and COK-11 (Type "B" Cast Iron Frame, Grate and Inlet (Mountable)). These new details allow for anti-theft measures to be included on catch basin frames and grates. The appropriate frame and grade specified in COK-10 or COK-11 must be used when installing drainage infrastructure in Right-of-Way or on City property. These standards are also recommended for use on private infrastructure, but are not required at this time.
Any new plan submitted on or after May 1, 2015, must use these new standard details for construction in Right-of-Way or City property. Click here to view the new standard details.
The majority of department personnel work directly with stormwater issues. The City of Knoxville is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to monitor, control, and investigate all aspects of the municipal storm drainage system (which also includes the various creeks and streams). A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit was initially issued to the City of Knoxville in July 1996, and requires that the city make annual progress reports to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). A new type of federal regulation is the establishment and enforcement of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
for any impaired creeks or streams. This program is also administered by TDEC. There are several local water quality organizations
that are active in the Knoxville area; these organizations participate in creek cleanup activities and actively pursue public education for adults and schoolchildren.
The Engineering Department has developed the BMP Manual
to clearly explain requirements for stormwater pollution prevention and erosion control, and also created the Land Development Manual
to assist developers with meeting all design and construction requirements.
Call 311 for Water Quality Issues
Please call 311 at any time to report illicit connections or illegal dumping in the creeks, streams, catch basins, storm sewer or any area draining into the creeks or storm sewer system. Callers may remain anonymous, if desired. The hotline is usually manned during working hours on weekdays (depending on the number of calls). The hotline is checked at least daily during weekends, or can be reached by the 911 emergency dispatch center in the event of an emergency call.
Calls will be investigated by personnel from the Stormwater Quality Section. Urgent or emergency calls involving hazardous materials, human safety, or severe environmental damage must also be reported to the fire department (call 911) and other agencies listed in Table AM-07-1 of the Knoxville BMP Manual. See AM-01, AM-07 and IC-01 of the Knoxville BMP Manual
for more information on reporting requirements and regulatory contacts for spills and leaks. The responsible party for the spill or leak is responsible for all costs incurred by the Knoxville Fire Department, Engineering Department, and other public agencies involved.