Water Quality Resources for Designers

This page links to resources for anyone wanting to build, remodel or pave land in unincorporated Pierce County. Disturbing soils and building structures impacts the health of local waters, including Puget Sound. The Stormwater & Site Development Manual contains the requirements you will need to follow to get a development permit and protect surface waters. The requirements in this manual are designed to mitigate the impacts of increased impervious surfaces.  

Low Impact Development (LID)

Low impact development (LID) is the practice of designing development to mimic nature’s stormwater management.  Pierce County encourages designers to work with the landscape retaining natural drainage patterns, soils and vegetation where possible.  Designing systems that infiltrate stormwater on-site are the preferred method of managing stormwater.  

In-Lieu Fee Program

Development that unavoidably impacts wetlands must be mitigated. In some cases, mitigation credits may be purchased. The Pierce County In-Lieu Program manages available credits and credit purchases.

Stormwater and Site Development Manual

This is the go-to manual with information on how to plan for stormwater management on your new or redevelopment project. You can’t get a permit without it. The manual describes the best management practices (BMPs) for stormwater control and stormwater pollution prevention that you are required to build into your site design and the BMPs that are required to implement at your existing development. Protect your local streams and salmon by referencing the BMPs in this manual.

Other Resources


Surface Water Management
(253) 798-2725

[email protected]