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Dane County Stormwater Manual

This manual is designed to help landowners, developers and designers meet the requirements of Dane County's erosion control and stormwater management ordinance and aid in the permit process.

The manual includes information on why erosion control and stormwater management is needed, Permit Information, plan preparation and approved management practices. This is not an all-inclusive manual, so users will still need to reference other technical guidance.

The Ordinance

Dane County's Chapter 14 Erosion Control and Stormwater Management Ordinance ordinance was designed to help protect the County’s lakes, streams, wetlands and quality of life by reducing the negative impacts of sediment, rainfall, melting snow and other water runoff.

The ordinance establishes countywide standards for the quantity and quality of water that runs off land under construction in urban and rural areas, including farms. It also provides flexibility in meeting those standards, recognizing the unique characteristics of each project and site. It builds on the construction site erosion control requirements that have been in effect since 1995.

More information on the history and administration of the ordinance can be found on the The Ordinance page.

Erosion Control

Erosion occurs when soil particles are detached from the land surface and carried down slope by moving water. These soil particles carry nutrients, organic matter, and other pollutants to regional lakes, streams and wetlands that diminish the capacity of water resources to support recreational and water supply uses and a natural diversity of plant and animal life. The eroded sediment can also clog existing drainage systems, which increases maintenance problems and costs. Construction sites are highly susceptible to erosion for several reasons, but there are a variety of strategies and practices for minimizing soil loss from construction sites.

More information on erosion, how it's regulated and control practices can be found on the Erosion Control page.

Below is a list of other pages related to erosion control.

Before dredging an agricultural ditch, repairing/placing tile, or breaking out new land, please read this checklist to determine if you need an erosion control permit.

Stormwater Management

Development and increase of impervious areas, like rooftops and parking lots, dramatically affects the hydrologic cycle by increasing the amount of water that runs off the ground surface, which carries pollutants to our surface waters. More surface runoff increases flooding frequency and severity while also degrading water quality and aquatic habitat.

More information on the hydrologic cycle, how stormwater is regulated and control practices can be found on the Stormwater Management page.

All stormwater management practices must be regularly inspected and maintained to remain effective at treating stormwater. Information on how to maintain stormwater practices can be on the Stormwater Maintenance page.

Below is a list of other pages related to stormwater management.

Management Practices

Meeting ordinance requirements will require careful planning and use of approved management practices. The plan designer should communicate with the landowner and contractor to choose practices that work best for the site.

A list of all approved practices can be found on the Management Practices page.

Education and Outreach

Please contact Elliott Mergen ( with any corrections or recommended improvements.

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