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The City of Knoxville Engineering Department is conducting an assessment of stormwater infrastructure. Survey crews are working throughout the city, locating and collecting information on the City’s stormwater assets, including culverts, manholes, catch basins and drain pipes. Surveyors may need to cross properties to get to a structure that is not located in or next to the street.

The information collected will be used to update the City’s existing maps and plans and help City engineers identify and correct system deficiencies. Additionally, the program will help the City with regulatory compliance, routine maintenance, and planning for the future.

Christopher S. Howley, P.E.
Engineering Planning Chief
[email protected]
Fax: 865-215-2631

  For direct requests for City Service:
Call 311 or (865) 215-4311 or send email to [email protected].

311 Call Center
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• Review of site development plans and final property plats
• Attendance & technical support at MPC meetings
• Drainage complaints and investigations
• Inspection of grading projects
• Stormwater quality monitoring
• Stormwater planning
• Streetlight design

The Stormwater Engineering Division is responsible for reviewing all subdivision designs to ensure that construction will conform to requirements for street design, drainage, stormwater detention, grading, erosion control, etc.


The majority of department personnel work directly with stormwater issues. The City of Knoxville is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to monitor, control, and investigate all aspects of the municipal storm drainage system (which also includes the various creeks and streams).

A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit was initially issued to the City of Knoxville in July 1996, and requires that the city make annual progress reports to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). A

 new type of federal regulation is the establishment and enforcement of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for any impaired creeks or streams. This program is also administered by TDEC.

There are several local water quality organizations that are active in the Knoxville area; these organizations participate in creek cleanup activities and actively pursue public education for adults and schoolchildren.


The Engineering Department has developed the BMP Manual (Best Management Practices Manual) to clearly explain requirements for stormwater pollution prevention and erosion control.

The Land Development Manual was created to assist developers with meeting all design and construction requirements.


Please call 311 at any time to report illicit connections or illegal dumping in the creeks, streams, catch basins, storm sewer or any area draining into the creeks or storm sewer system. Callers may remain anonymous, if desired. The hotline is usually manned during working hours on weekdays (depending on the number of calls). The hotline is checked at least daily during weekends, or can be reached by the 911 emergency dispatch center in the event of an emergency call.

Calls will be investigated by personnel from the Stormwater Quality Section. Urgent or emergency calls involving hazardous materials, human safety, or severe environmental damage must also be reported to the fire department (call 911) and other agencies listed in Table AM-07-1 of the Knoxville BMP Manual. See AM-01, AM-07 and IC-01 of the Knoxville BMP Manual for more information on reporting requirements and regulatory contacts for spills and leaks. The responsible party for the spill or leak is responsible for all costs incurred by the Knoxville Fire Department, Engineering Department, and other public agencies involved.