Stormwater management

Streams, lakes and rivers are important in our quality of life. They provide drinking water, recreational activities and support a wide variety of plants, animals and aquatic life. In Montgomery County, many residents benefit from living near a stream, creek or river. When the ground surface becomes saturated from heavy or prolonged rains and is not able to absorb any more water, the excess becomes surface runoff. Impervious surfaces such as concrete, asphalt and building roofs prevent water from seeping into the ground. Runoff is often immediately channeled into storm sewers but all runoff ultimately ends up in streams, creeks, rivers and the ocean.

When stormwater is not absorbed into the ground, the excess water picks up trash, fertilizers, pesticides, oil and other hazardous materials and pollutes these bodies of water. This may make the water unhealthy to drink or use for recreational activities and harm plant and aquatic life.

Report stormwater problems

Citizens who observe stormwater issues or problems should contact 540-394-2090 or In case of emergencies, call 911.

Complete the Report a Stormwater Discharge form to provide as much information to assist with investigating the problem.


Learn ways to prevent stormwater pollution.

MS4 permit

Montgomery County is required to have a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit to prevent the discharge of pollutants such as pet waste, sediment, nutrients, trash, engine oil and fertilizers into waterways. The permit conditions apply to the County's urbanized areas and requires the County to develop a stormwater management program that addresses the following six minimum control measures, or MCMs:

  • MCM 1: Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts
  • MCM 2: Public involvement and participation
  • MCM 3: Illicit discharge detection and elimination (Tracking illegal stormwater pollutants.)
  • MCM 4: Construction site stormwater runoff control
  • MCM 5: Post-construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment
  • MCM 6: Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations

Visit the resources page, which includes downloads about MCMs, our annual reports, and MS4 Program Plan.

For Land Developers

The County regulates land development as part of the construction site stormwater runoff control (MCM 4) requirements and additional state and federal regulation.

Permitting Process Brief Overview

  1. Review the Stormwater Management Basics document.
  2. Contact County Planning & GIS to review their requirements.
  3. Contact County Building and Inspections to review their requirements.
  4. Environmental Services is responsible for land disturbance permitting as a part of the overall development process.

Visit the Land Development page for additional guidance on the permitting process, appropriate forms, and submittal procedures.