Stormwater Quality

Stormwater logo

In the City of Norman, our stormwater runoff is not sent to a treatment plant. Instead, stormwater from rain and snowmelt events is transported to local creeks and streams via the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4).  As it travels from your roof, driveway, or neighborhood street to the MS4, stormwater can encounter and transport pollutants.  Common pollutants include oil and grease from vehicles, pesticides and fertilizers from lawns, sediment from construction sites, and trash like cigarette butts, plastic bottles, paper wrappers, and Styrofoam cups.  Any pollutants carried by stormwater are discharged directly to waterbodies because the stormwater is not treated before it is discharged from the MS4. it is discharged directly into our waterways. The Stormwater Quality Group is responsible for administering the MS4 Program by implementing measures to keep pollution out of our stormwater through education, inspection, and enforcement activities.

Polluted stormwater runoff is a leading source of contamination of waterbodies nationwide and can lead to water quality impairments that limit their use for recreation, as a source for drinking water, and as habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms.  Because of this, the Clean Water Act was amended in 1987 to address stormwater runoff.  Regulations under Phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program were issued on December 8, 1999, and require that medium to small sized cities and towns take steps to reduce the amount of pollution in the stormwater discharged from their MS4.

The City of Norman is subject to these regulations and obtained a permit for stormwater discharges from its MS4 from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (OPDES Permit No. OKR040015).  As part of this permit, the City is required to develop and implement a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP)  The permit outlines six minimum control measures that the City must address in its Stormwater Management Program:

Commercial Fertilizer Applicator Registration

The City of Norman regulates the use and sale of manufactured fertilizers which contain phosphorus. This is a proactive effort to preserve and protect waterbodies within the City of Norman’s city limits including our municipal water supply, Lake Thunderbird. Commercial applicators are required to register with the City and provide their customers with information about proper fertilizer use and the effect it can have on our waterways. Commercial vendors are required to inform their customers about the phosphorus content of their products, and provide information about proper fertilizer use and the effect it can have on our waterways. 

Runoff Roundup Quarterly Newsletter

Permit Outlines for Stormwater Management

Public Education and Outreach

Educational materials and events are used to inform citizens about the impact of polluted stormwater runoff on water quality.

Public Participation and Involvement

  • Provide opportunities for citizens to participate in the development and implementation of the program.
  • Stormwater Management Program
  • If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for our staff, please email us at

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

Detecting and eliminating illegal discharges to the MS4 is an important way to prevent anything but rain from entering the storm drains. An illicit discharge can include oil, paint, grass clippings, lawn chemicals, pet waste, commercial or industrial wastewater, or trash.

The City of Norman has implemented a Manufactured Fertilizer Ordinance to preserve and protect waterbodies within city limits by limiting the use of phosphorus-containing fertilizer and establishes rules for the application of all fertilizers.

If you think you saw an illicit discharge, contact us at or report it to the Action Center.

Construction Site Runoff Control

Construction sites that disturb an acre or greater of land within the City of Norman must obtain an earth change permit. In order to apply for a permit, please submit the following documents to 668 E. Lindsey Street, Norman, OK 73069.

  • A complete Earth Change Permit Application
  • A copy of your OKR10 notice of intent and authorization.
  • A copy of your stormwater pollution prevention plan, including your sediment and erosion control plans.
  • Permit fee in check or cash only ($100 + $10/acre)

Additional guidance documents:


Post-Construction Runoff Control

  • Development and Implementation of best management practices to control stormwater discharges from sites after construction is complete. 


Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping

Prevent or reduce pollutant runoff from municipal operations.

City of Norman Phase II MS4 Program Annual Reports