SWU Resources

This page provides a variety of supplemental information, from a glossary of acronyms and terms used throughout this site, to a Frequently Asked Questions section, as well as links to many other websites and resources we have used to develop this stormwater utility website.

This page will be updated periodically to add new information as it is developed or discovered. Please feel free to use the Contact Us link on the Home Page to inform us of material that is not mentioned here that has assisted you with the understanding, establishment or implementation of a stormwater utility.  However, please note that the inclusion of links on this webpage to organizations outside this Department are for informational purposes and does not indicate the Department’s endorsement of the material on that website.

Also, as noted often throughout these SWU webpages, the Department has developed a free mapping and inventory tool for users to create an inventory and map of their stormwater facilities. Information regarding logging inspections, routine maintenance, needed upgrades, and repairs can also be developed from the inventory.

Need Help?

You may contact the Department’s Bureau of Nonpoint Pollution Control for MS4 questions and overall guidance questions: (609)-633-7021 or stormwaterutility@dep.nj.gov

Glossary and Acronyms

All words and terms used throughout this website shall have meanings as defined in the “Regulations Concerning the New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System” (N.J.A.C. 7:14A), unless otherwise stated or unless the context clearly requires a different meaning.

Act– means the “Clean Stormwater and Flood Reduction Act” which is the act that allows for the formation of stormwater utilities in New Jersey.

BRE – Business Risk Exposure, which is a method of calculating (scoring) the nature and level of exposure that a utility is likely to confront through a potential failure of a specified asset

BMP– Best Management Practices, or measures that are designed to achieve the permittee’s requirement to reduce the discharge of pollutants from the permittee’s property, i.e. the municipality’s MS4, municipal maintenance yards and other ancillary operations, to protect water quality, and to satisfy the applicable water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act.

BMP Manual– the New Jersey Stormwater Best Management Practice Manual. This manual provides guidance to address the standards in the Stormwater Management Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:8. A link to this manual can be found at https://dep.nj.gov/stormwater/bmp-manual/

CSO – “Combined Sewer Overflow”, or the excess flow from the combined sewer system which is not conveyed to the domestic treatment works for treatment, but transmitted by pipe or other channel directly to waters of the State.  For more information on the CSOs in New Jersey, please see – https://www.nj.gov/dep/dwq/cso.htm

CWA – the Clean Water Act also known as the Federal Act or Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. et seq.) including all subsequent supplements and amendments.– Clean Water Act 

DCA – the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs – https://www.nj.gov/dca/

EPA – the United States Environmental Protection Agency – https://www.epa.gov/

GI – Green Infrastructure, which is a stormwater management measure that manages stormwater close to its source by treating stormwater runoff through infiltration into subsoil, treating stormwater runoff through filtration by vegetation or soil, or storing stormwater runoff for reuse.

This is the definition from the Stormwater Management Rules at N.J.A.C. 7:8.  Please see this link at https://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/rules/njac7_8.pdf . These regulations were recently amended with a one year delayed operative date, with those amendments becoming effective on March 2, 2021.

GIS – Geographic Information Systems

LOS – Level of Service, which is the specified goals of the stormwater utility, with consideration for the role and function of utility infrastructure assets and how they are expected to perform.

LTCP – means Long Term Control Plan, which is a required submission to the state by CSO permittees that identifies chosen alternatives and the implementation plan to reducing CSO discharges.  These LTCPS are based on system-wide evaluations of the sewer infrastructure and includes the relationship between the sewer capacity, precipitation, treatment capacity, and overflow.  For more information on long-term control plans, please see – https://www.nj.gov/dep/dwq/cso.htm

MSWMP – Municipal Stormwater Management Plan.  See a sample MSWMP here

MS4 – Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (https://www.nj.gov/dep/dwq/msrp_home.htm)

NJDEP – the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

NJPDES – means the New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.  The NJPDES Program protects New Jersey’s ground and surface water quality by assuring the proper treatment and discharge of wastewater (and its residuals) and stormwater from various types of facilities and activities. To accomplish this, permits are issued limiting the mass and/or concentration of pollutants which may be discharged into groundwater, streams, rivers, and the ocean. The types of regulated facilities can range from very small users such as campgrounds, schools, and shopping centers to larger industrial and municipal wastewater dischargers

NJWB – New Jersey Water Bank – (formerly – New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program) -https://www.nj.gov/dep/dwq/mface_njeifp.htm

SCO – Stormwater Control Ordinance.  See Model SCO language here

SWU – Stormwater Utility

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The guidance on these webpages was created by the Department assist towns and other entities with the formation of a stormwater utility in accordance with the Act. Any entity authorized to form a utility under the Act, which are listed on the SWU Home page, may do so at any time. This webpage will be updated periodically with new information, as needed.

Links to Stormwater Utilities outside of New Jersey

*Disclaimer – Please note that the references on this website from stormwater utility programs across the country and Canada do not indicate the Department’s endorsement of the specific structure of any of those other programs as they were not established in accordance with the requirements of the New Jersey Stormwater Utility Law.**

Stormwater utilities have been successfully established and implemented by numerous towns, cities, counties and authorities in other states and countries. According to the Western Kentucky University Stormwater Utility Survey (versions), two of the first stormwater utilities in the country were formed in 1974 in Boulder, Colorado and Bellevue, Washington. As of 2019 when the Act was passed, there were 1,716 stormwater utilities that had formed nationwide in 40 states plus Washington D.C. and Canada. The survey presents information on the number of stormwater utilities per state, utility fee averages and ranges, and how different utilities calculate their fees.

You may also visit any of the links below to check out examples of successful stormwater utility programs in our surrounding states.