Stormwater Division

Stormwater Construction

The City of Cañon City is committed to protecting water resources and ensuring that future development continues in an environmentally-sound manner through implementation of effective erosion and sediment control Best Management Practices (BMPs) as a standard for all land disturbance activities. To achieve that goal, the City has a permitting program for grading, erosion, and sediment control on public and private construction projects within the incorporated limits of the City.

Please click HERE  for forms and information related to construction.

When the landscape is altered to accommodate the development of residential or commercial uses, soil is disturbed. That disturbance creates the potential for mobilization of soils through erosion created by stormwater runoff from construction sites.  Erosion and sedimentation damage property and degrade water quality in streams and lakes as well as disturb riparian and aquatic habitat. Sediment, considered a priority pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency, is also a transport mechanism for many other stormwater runoff related pollutants such as phosphorus and nitrogen.

The development, implementation, and enforcement of the City of Cañon City’s Grading, Erosion, and Sediment Control (GESC) permit program is mandated by the Federal Government and the State of Colorado through the Federal Clean Water Act’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and the Colorado Discharge Permit System (CDPS).  The CDPS is administered by the Water Quality Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).  The City of Cañon City’s stormwater permit from the CDPHE requires that the City must:

A.  Protect water quality through the development, implementation and enforcement of a stormwater management program designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants from the incorporated lands within the City to the Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP).

B.  Develop, implement and enforce a program to reduce pollutants in any stormwater runoff within the City from construction activities that result in a land disturbance of greater than or equal to one acre.

C.  The program must also include reduction of pollutants in stormwater discharges from construction activity on sites disturbing less than one acre if the construction activity is part of a larger common plan of development that disturbs one acre or more.

D.  The program must assure adequate design, implementation and maintenance of Best Management Practices (BMPs) at construction sites in order to reduce pollutant discharges and protect water quality.

E.  At a minimum, the program must include the development and implementation of:

1.  An ordinance or other regulatory mechanism to require erosion and sediment controls, as well as sanctions to ensure compliance, to the extent allowable under State or local law. (Ordinance No. 20 -2005)

2.  Requirements for construction site operators to implement appropriate erosion and sediment control BMPs.

3.  Requirements for construction site operators to control waste such as discarded building materials, concrete truck washout, chemicals, litter and sanitary waste at the construction site in order to minimize adverse impacts to water quality.

4.  Procedures for site plan review which incorporate consideration of potential water quality impacts.

5.  Procedures for receipt and consideration of information submitted by the public.

6.  Procedures for site inspection and enforcement of control measures.

Projects Requiring a Grading, Erosion, and Sediment Control Permit The City of Cañon City requires that a GESC Permit be obtained prior to the start of land-disturbing activities within the incorporated areas of the City.

Projects Which Require a Standard GESC Permit include:

  • Any project which disturbs 1.0 acre or more.
  • New development and redevelopment on sites less than 1.0 acre if part of a larger project whose cumulative area exceeds 1.0 acre.
  • Installation of utilities for a new development or redevelopment, prior to the start of clearing or grading.
  • Any project that the City Engineer determines to have a potential impact to the health, safety and welfare of people and/or the environment.

NOTE: Regardless of the total area of the proposed project, under no circumstances can disturbance occur without a recorded plat and/or an approved site plan!

GESC Permits are still required for projects meeting criteria identified in the City of Cañon City’s GESC manual, even if a Federal or State agency or another jurisdiction has previously approved the project and issued a permit for the work. Projects which do not require a GESC Permit are still obligated to control erosion and sediment.

Permitting for Individual Residential Projects Through the GESC Permit Program, in addition to the City of Cañon City Building Department, the Engineering Department also retains regulatory authority over the construction of detached single-family residential projects. The Engineering Department’s regulatory involvement begins at the onset of grading operations and continues through Initial Close-out Acceptance. However if additional landscaping remains to be completed after a project/phase has been issued Initial Close-out Acceptance, for building lots less than one (<1.0) acre but are a part of a larger development or project, the Drainage, Erosion, and Sediment Control (DESC) program is activated. Under that program, the Engineering Department retains regulatory authority through the fulfillment of the requirements of the DESC which the developer, owner or builder is required to complete or face enforcement action.

Often, a stand-alone detached single-family residential unit is not required to obtain a GESC Permit and is regulated only by the City’s DESC program. However, on a case-by-case basis the Engineering and/or Building Department may require a GESC Permit if it is determined that the significance of the issues involved merit the engineering oversight that normally comes with a GESC Permit.

Best Management Practices (BMPs) Structural BMPs are used for runoff, sediment and erosion control on construction sites.  There are various structural BMPs that may be used on construction sites – such as check dams, diversion dikes, filter berms and socks, sediment basins and traps, silt fences, storm drain inlet protection, straw bales and vegetated buffers.  The types of BMPs used on a particular site should be considered carefully and used correctly to achieve the best possible results.  BMPs need to be maintained so they retain their function.  Please click HERE for forms and information related to construction.