Watershed Management

APDES Term III Permit
In August, 2016, a new 5-year APDES Permit became effective.

DCM Chapter 2: Anchorage Stormwater Manual

An update to Chapter 2 of the DCM is underway. The current draft was approved by the Planning and Zoning on February 13, 2017 and will next go to the Anchorage Assembly.

The pending revisions are in the form of a two-volume Anchorage Stormwater Manual:
Volume 1: Managment and Design Criteria
Volume 2: Construction Practices

A summary document listing the key changes can be found here.

Please submit your comments via email to stormwater@muni.org. A comment form is available here.

2016 Annual Report

The 2016 APDES Annual Report has been submitted to ADEC. A copy of the report can be viewed on our APDES Page.

2017 Annual Meeting

The 2017 APDES Annual was held on March 29th at the BP Energy Center.

M&O Agreements

The MOA has a new requirement for Maintenance and Operation Plans for permanent stormwater controls. Click here for more information.

Chester Creek Watershed Plan

The Chester Creek Watershed Plan was completed in 2015

A copy of the plan can be obtained here.

Rain Gardens
See what we're up to on our Rain Gardens website.


The Municipality of Anchorage Watershed Management Services works to protect and improve the quality of all Anchorage’s streams and waterways in order to comply with federal and state regulations, specifically the Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES).

Our Watershed

The creeks, streams, wetlands, and other waters within the Municipality of Anchorage give our city much of its unique character. This network of waterways supports not only fish, wildlife, and natural habitats, but also businesses, neighborhoods, and the health of our community, improving our quality of life.

Stormwater and Water Quality

As Anchorage grows, development can disrupt and permanently alter natural watershed conditions and functions through clearing, altering topography (flattening hills, filling low lands), compacting soil, and building parking lots, roads, and driveways.   As Anchorage is developed, more stormwater flows directly into creeks and waterways, rather than being filtered through the soil. This runoff accumulates pollutants (car oil, grease, pesticides, detergents, etc.) that flow directly into the streams and waterways. The change in stormwater volumes and timing can also cause higher than natural rates of erosion along stream banks and streambeds.

Many people believe that stormwater is clean and does not harm water quality. Although the amount of pollution from any one spot is not usually significant, when many small amounts are combined they can cause significant water quality problems. Similarly, while small volumes of stormwater may not change runoff patterns, many small runoff events taken together can cause significant erosion problems and flooding.

Mission Statement

The mission of Watershed Management is to:

  • Maintain the viability and integrity of our aquatic resources by protecting and preserving healthy watersheds.
  • Provide leadership and guidance in watershed management through sound technology and ecological engineering and planning.
  • Encourage sustainable growth, maximize safety, minimize flood damage, and conserve natural resources to ensure the best quality of life for current and future generations.

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