Aquifer Protection Ordinance
No. 81491 Outline

The following is an outline of the Ordinance No. 81491, approved Jan. 12, 1995, by the San Antonio City Council amending Chapter 34, Article VI, of the City Code by adding a new Division 6 thereunder titled “Aquifer Recharge Zone and Watershed Protection.” This outline in no way replaces Appendix I of Ordinance No. 81491. Please review the complete Ordinance with attachments when making any decisions in regard to property affected by this Ordinance.

Article VI Pollution Prevention and Control Division 6 Aquifer Recharge Zone and Watershed Protection

Administered by the San Antonio Water System

Aquifer Protection Required
(formerly known as the Letter of Certification) (Category 2 & Category 3)

  • Aquifer Protection Plan approval issued by Resource Protection Division of SAWS prior to development.
  • Application for the Aquifer Protection Plan includes information about the proposed development.
  • Valid for three (3) years from the date the Aquifer Protection Plan approval letter is issued.

Floodplain Preservation Area

  • Floodplain Preservation Area (100-year Floodplain) defined by watersheds greater than 100 acres within the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.
  • Activities in Floodplain Preservation Areas limited.

Floodplain Buffer Zone

  • Floodplain buffer zones (FBZ) established parallel to all Floodplain Preservation Areas.
  • No impervious cover allowed in the buffer zones.

Drainage Area

  • Floodplain Preservation Area extends to the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone drainage area in the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and applies to creeks with watersheds greater than 300 acres.
  • Floodplain Buffer Zone required adjacent to the Floodplain Preservation area. Maximum impervious cover in the Drainage Area Buffer Zone is 10 percent.
  • Does not apply to floodplain development permits issued before Jan. 22, 1995.

Recharge Feature Protection and Buffer Zone

  • Sealing of Significant Recharge Features prohibited.
  • Buffer Zone required around Significant Recharge Features.

Pollution Prevention Criteria

Properties classified into three Categories:

  • Category 1:
    Any property prior to effective date of this Division (Jan. 22, 1995) having a valid permit as defined in Section 481.142 of the Texas Government Code. Shall include but not limited to:

    • POADP’s (prior to Dec. 22, 1994); or
    • A Plat or Plat application (prior to Sept. 8, 1994)
  • Category 2:
    • Not in Category 1.
    • Within the corporate limits of the City of San Antonio.
    • Restrictions to regulated activity for Category 2
      • Single-Family Residential 30% gross impervious cover
      • Multi-Family Residential 50% gross impervious cover
      • Commercial 65% gross impervious cover
  • Category 3:
    • Not in Category 1 or 2.
    • Within the ETJ of the City of San Antonio and within the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.
      • Single-Family Residential 15% gross impervious cover
      • Multi-Family Residential 15% gross impervious cover
      • Commercial 15% gross impervious cover

Multi-Category Developments

When multi-category development is proposed, impervious cover allowances may be prorated.

Detention, Sedimentation and Filtration for Water Quality Control

All multi-family and commercial developments will capture and isolate the first 1/2″ of runoff to minimize pollutants from entering the Aquifer.

Street Improvements

  • Depending on amount of road traffic, sedimentation and filtration basins or hazardous materials traps (HMT’s) will be required.
  • Bridges with more than 1,500 vehicles per day are prohibited from discharging directly to the Floodplain Preservation Area directly from the roadway surface.

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Best Management Practices required for single family residential developments of Category 2 or 3 properties.

Variance Procedure

Variance procedure in place.

Download Full-Text of Ordinance

Ordinance No. 81491 is available to download as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.