Storm Water Quality (SWQ) Permit

Instrument Reference Number
Valid Period
1 year
Plan Review
Not Required
Admin fee
Inspection fee
$87.96 (for re-inspection only)
Renewal fee
Processing Time
2-10 business days

SWQ Permit is a permit that is required as part of the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) from the State of Texas. A development is required to have this permit when it meets the definition of "new development" or "significant redevelopment" specified in Sec. 47-601 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances. Once issued, this permit is for the life of the site and must be renewed annually.

After Approval

A copy of the approved SWQMP shall be given to the owner for his/her use after the initial permit issuance by the consulting engineer that developed the report. The owner of the site is responsible for keeping a record of the internal inspections, permits issued by COH and making sure that the permit is renewed annually.

Conditions and Exceptions

Condition: SWQ permit is for the life of the site and must be renewed annually. The owner of the site is responsible for this permit. If there's a change in ownership or a change in the design, the permit must be amended to reflect the change. There is a fee of $207.47 for amendments. Exception: If the site is covered under TCEQ Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP), then a SWQ permit is not required.


Apply What you need

New application

The Storm Water Quality Management Guidance Manual provides general guidance for permanent non-structural and structural controls to reduce pollutants in storm water runoff. It list Best Management Practices (BMP) that will work well in the City of Houston. The manual is not intended to be exhaustive, but to provide an overview of the generally available options for storm water (choose the appropriate county form) must be signed and notarized, then the notice and quality management in the region. You can use this guidance manual to help you choose the BMP that works for your site.






Apply Online Steps

To apply for a new storm water quality permit, you must via email complete the following steps:

  1. Create a Storm Water Quality Management Plan (SWQMP). You can use the Example COH SWQMP as guides for your plan.
  2. A copy of the City’s Drawing # 01571-01 SWPPP Standard Details must be included.
  3. The City uses the Blank SWQMP Checklist in reviewing all new application. This will allow you to make sure your plan have all the required elements. You can also return this document with the page number of where each element can be found in your document.
  4. The HPW SWQ Permit Application and HPW SWQ owner’s affidavit – original must be signed by the owner.
  5. A Professional Engineer must use the HPW SWQ engineer’s certification form to certify that the plan complies with the City’s requirements.
  6. The signed Notice of Storm Water Quality Requirements (choose the appropriate county form) must be signed and notarized, then the notice and Exhibit A (either a survey of the property or its metes and bounds) must be recorded at the county courthouse.
  7. Include a cost estimate for the storm water quality feature and its installation. The estimate is to determine the amount of the HPW SWQ Structural Control Bond that is required. The bond does not have to be submitted with the SWQMP, the owner can attach a letter stating that the bond will be provided prior to construction.
  8. Send a pdf of the complete SWQMP to [email protected]. An invoice will be sent to you that you can pay online. The plan will be reviewed, and any comments will be sent to you for corrections. Once approved, the application will be dated, stamped, assigned a permit number, signed, and then scanned and e-mailed to you.
Apply Conditions & Exceptions

Refer to Sec 47-631 and 47-632 of the Code of Ordinances:…

Inspection What you need

Once the project (SWQ portion) is complete, the engineer shall submit the Post Construction Certification - Original Certification Form. This will initiate our inspection process. Inspection will be unannounced. Additional inspections might be conducted as needed.

Inspection Conditions & Exceptions

Compliance, Inspections and Investigation is referred on Sec 47-613 of the Code of Ordinances:… It is the responsibility of the owner to regularly inspect the site per the SWQMP document created for the site.

Renew What you need
Renew by Mail Steps

City of Houston Storm Water Quality Permitting 1002 Washington Avenue, 2nd FL Houston, TX 77002

Renew Online Steps

Email completed renewal application packet to [email protected]. A sales order will be generated and the fees can be paid online via iPermits Portal.

Renew Conditions & Exceptions

For Renewal: Submit the renewal package at least 30 days prior to permit expiration. For Amendment: 1. For ownership change: Submit the amendment package within 30 days of transfer of ownership 2. For design change: Submit the amendment package along with other submission of permitting/plan review with the City For Renewal: If the permit is delinquent, the missing renewal fees must be paid in addition to the current renewal fee. For Amendment: The permit must be current (renewed) in order for the permit to be amended.

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