Skip to main content

A Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3), which includes Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) and other measures to limit stormwater runoff pollution from construction activities, is required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) as well as Travis County for certain types of construction.

Permit applications must demonstrate compliance with SWP3 and ESC requirements.

Does your project require a SWP3?

SWP3 is required for projects where: 

  • The project’s total disturbed area is 1 acre or more
  • The project’s total disturbed area is less than 1 acre, but is contained within a larger subdivision or phased development plan considered a “common plan of development”

NOTE: Even when a SWP3 Document is NOT required, Best Management Practices (BMPs) are required to be used where necessary to prevent runoff impacts to adjacent properties, waterways, and county right-of-ways.

Owner/Operator SWP3 Responsibilities

The land owner and contractor/primary operator are responsible for implementation of all SWP3 requirements throughout construction, until final stabilization. A signed Construction Site Notice (CSN)  must be posted, BMPs continuously implemented and maintained during construction, and final stabilization (sodding or seeding) implemented begun upon completion of final grading. A qualified person must inspect the controls every 7 days and after rain events of 0.5 inches or more, and prepare a signed Inspection Report evaluating compliance and listing necessary corrective actions, per Travis County Code Chapter 482.951-52.

Required Content

Each SWP3 must at least contain:

  • Narrative Plan
  • Site Description
  • Specifications of ESC and Best Management Practices (BMPs)
  • Detailed Site Plan to scale showing BMP locations and schedules for their installation

SWP3 must be prepared by a Professional Engineer (PE) or Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC).

Related Documents

Travis County may require the following documents and information to be submitted, depending on the characteristics of your project.

  1. SWP3 Summary Form
  2. TCEQ Notices: CSN, NOI, NOC, and NOT
    • Projects starting construction within 30 days of County permit issuance must provide a copy of their TCEQ CSN, and if 5 acres or greater, their NOI, prior to final issuance of a County Development Permit.
    • Projects starting construction 30 – 180 days after County permit issuance must send a copy of their NOI to the TNR Permit Center no later than 7 days prior to the start of construction and a copy of the CSN no later than 2 days prior to the start of construction.
  3. ESC measures or site plans (if required by the County)
  4. Other information requested by the County

Requirements for Permit Applications

For projects requiring a SWP3, in lieu of submitting the entire SWP3 document, Travis County requires the applicant to submit the SWP3 Summary Form.

Expect the County to request to review portions of the actual SWP3 document or request additional related information if your project has the following attributes:

  • Construction disturbance occurs on a slope steeper than 10% (10’ fall in 100’ of length)
  • Cut or fill is greater than 4’ not under the building or driveway footprint
  • Disturbance next to waterways, or there are platted setbacks for waterways or critical environmental features
  • Disturbance exceptions to certain platted setbacks, which are allowed by subdivision plat notes, including access routes to boat docks, trails, yards, or low impact park use

As part of the assessment and review process of a SPW3, all projects are required to address many of the related items below that are applicable.

Residential Construction on Subdivision Lots with Platted Setbacks

Lot construction disturbance may not encroach on any platted setbacks for protected environmental features such as greenbelts, waterways, caves, wetlands, or protected species habitat. SWP3 and ESC controls must protect these areas when adjacent to the lot construction, as well as protect adjacent right-of-way and easements from erosion and sedimentation.

Primary SWP3 Controls

Temporary Sediment and Pollution Discharge Controls

  • Perimeter sediment controls, such as silt fence, mulch rolls, rock berms
  • Additional amounts of sediment controls are necessary for larger disturbed areas, steep slopes, and fill embankments
    • Especially slopes greater than 10% (10’ fall in 100’ of length)
  • Protection of adjacent rights-of-way, curb inlets, drainage channels, and drainage easements from sedimentation
  • Protection of adjacent waterways/platted setbacks for Critical Environmental Features (CEFs)
  • Stabilized construction entrances and prevention of soil tracking onto roadways
  • Regular clean-up of all construction trash and solid wastes; use of sanitary facilities
  • Proper use and storage of industrial chemicals and materials; clean-up of spills
  • Controls for discharge of pooled water, paint, masonry and concrete washout
  • Protect trees in County right-of-ways and those saved on the site from construction disturbances

Permanent Erosion Controls

  • Re-vegetation of lawns and all disturbed areas using sod, seed, or soil blanket (permanent erosion controls) - with adequate watering to ensure establishment
  • Additional amounts of permanent erosion control measures are necessary to stabilize steep slopes and fill embankments
    • Especially slopes greater than 10% (10’ fall in 100’ of length)
  • Permanent landscaping, retaining walls, driveways
  • Dissipaters for roof downspouts, concentrated drainage flows, and outfall points

County SWP3 & ESC Inspection

Permits do not require regular scheduled inspections for SWP3 and ESC controls by Travis County. However, the County will schedule or perform follow-up inspections to ensure compliance and corrective actions are completed in the following situations:

  • A complaint is received
  • A problem is observed during scheduled inspections
  • A problem is observed during the inspection of an adjacent project

NOTE: TCEQ, LCRA, or Municipal inspectors may also monitor residential construction compliance

Contact SWP3

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

If you can’t find information about a specific permit or need help, fill out the Contact & Feedback Form. We will get back to you shortly.

You can also request a pre-application meeting to discuss any questions about your project by submitting a Request for a Pre-Application Meeting.

For other ways to reach us, visit our Contact page.