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city sealHigh Res SWEEP Logo Official 1 DrainSticker

 StormWater Enhancement and Education Program



The SWEEP program is an initiative to improve privately-owned residential stormwater ponds, both detention and retention, and other water quality BMP's (Best Management Practices) such as oil skimmers, vortex, hydrodynamic separators, etc.

These BMP's will be assessed and prioritized by the City for a one time rehabilitation and/or possible retrofitting for water quality improvements. This is a one time major improvement. After this initial improvement, any future improvements will be the responsibility of the property owner or homeowner's association.

So what is a retention pond?



The retention pond on the left is in good working condition, the one on the right is in disrepair.

 A retention pond is a structure built to manage excess stormwater. You might have noticed these in subdivisions or outside of businesses. They may look like a regular pond, but they provide a much needed service. These retention ponds hold excess stormwater, and slowly release it to another location. As particles of things like sediment and other pollutants enter the pond, they are allowed time to settle, or are broken down by biological processes. This improves our city's water quality.


 So what is a detention pond?









 The detention pond on the left is in good working condition, the one on the right is in disrepair.

Detention ponds are "dry" ponds. They are for storm water management, but instead of being filled with water, they are dry the majority of the time. They manage the excess stormwater in rain events by giving it a place to be temporarily held. The particles and pollutants can settle, and then the water is slowly released.


 What is an oil skimmer?

oil skimmer diagram

Oil skimmers use a dam or enclosure positioned at the oil/water interface. Oil floating on top of the water will spill over the dam and be trapped in a well inside, bringing with it as little water as possible. The trapped oil and water mixture can then be pumped out through a pipe or hose to a storage tank for recycling or disposal.


  Key things to know about SWEEP

  • The BMP's must have been constructed before 9/26/2006 to qualify for the SWEEP program (This was before a maintenance agreement was required by the City of Chattanooga)


  • The city will NOT take ownership of these BMP's. Ownership is the responsibility of the property owner or another recognized entity such as the homeowner's association (HOA)


  • Recurring maintenance will be the responsibility of the property owner or HOA


  • The first phase of this program will focus on the South Chickamauga Creek watershed, which includes areas of town such as East Brainerd and Brainerd


 SWEEP Program Resources 

Interested in SWEEP? 

Apply - Email this form to

Learn More

Printable SWEEP Brochure


Already Participated in SWEEP? 

Homeowner's Inspection Check List 

Detention Pond Maintenance

Exit Survey

Completed SWEEP Projects
















Serve people with integrity and improve the infrastructure and environment through excellence.

Justin Holland, Administrator
1250 Market Street
Chattanooga TN 37402 (map)
(423) 643-6311  


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Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea