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Grading and Storm Water


Grading and Drainage Ordinance (Sonoma County Code Chapter 11)

Storm Water Quality Ordinance (Sonoma County Code Chapter 11A)



Grading is the removal or deposition of earth material by artificial means. Earth material is defined as any rock or natural soil or combination thereof. Grading is generally a combination of excavation (cuts) and placement (fill) of soil. Common examples of grading include, but are not limited to, construction of driveways, building pads, site improvements or reservoirs, and restoration/stabilization of hillsides, slopes or stream banks. Grading does not include routine farming practices.

Grading Documents

Standard Notes

Standard Notes for Grading and Drainage (PDF: 83 kB)

Standard Notes for Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control (PDF: 72 kB)

Standard Notes for Grading and Drainage Inspection (PDF: 55 kB)


Grading Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Storm Water

Storm water is any storm water runoff, snow melt, or surface runoff. Generally, storm water runoff occurs when rainfall flows over the ground.

Keep Sonoma Water Clean – Prevent Storm Water Pollution

Water is life. Keep our water clean and wildlife safe!


Water runoff from homes and yards can carry pollutants to our streams, creeks, and rivers. This video presents some preventive measures to keep residential pollutants out of our water.

Construction Site

Construction sites must be managed correctly to prevent erosion and sediment runoff that pollutes our water.

Storm Water Information

As of January 6, 2016, Sonoma County is required to enforce new stormwater requirements that were adopted by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board on October 8, 2015.


Best Management Practices (BMP) Guide
Concept BMP Prioritization - NPDES Permit (PDF: 51 kB)

Low Impact Development (LID)

LID is required for projects with the North Coast regulatory areas and the San Francisco Bay regulatory areas.

View LID Documents for the North Coast Region and the San Francisco Bay Region

Storm Water Resources

Business Assistance Program
Construction Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Flood Control
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Information

Pollution Prevention

At Home

Recycle Guide – Sonoma County Waste Management Agency
Hiring a Gardener at Home
Recycle Autumn Leaves
Vehicle Cleaning
Carpet Cleaning
Home & Garden Tips
Car Wash Fundraisers

At Work

Cleaning Industry
Food Facilities
Apartment and other Multi-Unit Residential Dwellings

Spill Reporting
Storm Water Documents
Storm Water Links
Contact Information


Document Accessibility Notice
Some of these documents are saved in Portable Document Format (PDF) or Microsoft Excel. We recommend you download Adobe® Reader®, a free software that allows you view and print PDF files. For Excel Spreadsheets, download Microsoft® Excel® Viewer or (Calc spreadsheet viewer).

For accessibility assistance with these documents, please contact Permit Sonoma (PRMD), Sonoma County at (707) 565-1900.
Although every effort is made to provide complete and accurate information on this website, users are advised to contact appropriate Permit Sonoma staff before making project decisions. This may involve contacting more than one section within Permit Sonoma(e.g. Building, Plan Check, Zoning, Well & Septic, etc.) since each section implements specific codes or ordinances which may affect your project.
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Permit and Resource Management Department County of Sonoma