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Planning and Development - Division of Water Resources

Do I Need a Stormwater Management Permit?

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If your project meets any of the seven regulated development criteria, a Stormwater Management Permit is required.  The most common triggers for a project to need a Stormwater Management Permit include, but are not limited to, 5,000 square feet of ground disturbance, work in floodplain areas, and work in wetlands.  If you need assistance determining if a permit is necessary for your project, please contact our division at 815-334-4560.


Use the flowcharts below to determine if your project would require a Stormwater Management Permit.
Regulated Development Flowchart
- Development Classification Flowchart
- Runoff Control Submittal Flowchart
- Flood Hazard Area Flowchart
- Wetlands, Waters, and Buffer Areas Flowchart


Click here for a copy of the Stormwater Management Permit Application.  All permit submittals shall include the county's application.  The fee schedule for Stormwater Management Permits may be found here.  If you would like to expedite your permit, for an additional fee, please click here for additional information.


Use the following documents to help determine if your project can be classified under a General Permit #1.

Boardwalk Maintenance of Road/Bridge Septic Replacement
Boat Dock Material Storage Shoreline/Streambank Protection
Deck Minor Modification of Culvert,
Storm Sewer, Drain Tile
Storm Sewer Outfall, Drain Tile
Outfall, Outlet Channel
Dredging Pool Topsoil/Sand Restoration
Driveway, Patio, Sidewalk, Trail Seawall Underground & Overhead Utility
Fence, Signpost, Pole, Guardrail Seawall & Boat Dock Wetland Restoration/Enhancement

If you feel your project meets the above criteria, please submit the following documents to start the permit process for the proposed work:
- Completed Stormwater Management Permit application, which is available on our website here.
- Current site plan depicting existing conditions of your property, all proposed work to be completed, and enough detail to make a determination if the development will require a Stormwater Management Permit.  Please download the "Site Plan" form from our website.
- A copy of the signature page (last page of the document) of the General Permit #1 packet (see list above for the relevant packet).  Please keep the rest of the pages for your records.
- Remit the General Permit #1 fee of $150 and inspection fee of $100 (total permit fees - $250).  You may pay this through our website via credit card or in person at our office with cash, check or credit.  If you would like your permit sent to you instead of picking it up, you will be charged an extra $6.  If your project is in violation, you will be charged an extra $150.

In some instances, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may also require a permit for the work.  Their permit process can be initiated through their website at:  Brielle Cummings is the wetland specialist for McHenry County (312-846-5545  [email protected]).

If the work is within the Chain-of-Lakes, the Fox River, or other floodway areas, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources - Office of Water Resources may also require a permit for the work.  Their permit process can be initiated through their website at:  You may also contact them at 847-608-3100 x32025.


Use the following checklists to assist you with permit and submittal requirements.
Minor Development (<20,000 square feet of ground disturbance)
- Intermediate Development (20,000 square feet to <1 acre of ground disturbance)
- Major Development (1 acre or more of ground disturbance)
- Mining Development
- Public Road Development
- Runoff Control Submittal (detention and storage requirements)
- Flood Hazard Area Development (work within a flood hazard area including flood prone areas, floodplain, floodway, flood of record)
- Wetlands, Waters and Buffer Area Development (work within an Isolated Waters of McHenry County or Waters of the U.S. or their buffers) 
- Recreational Pond Installation

Additional permit documents may be found on our Stormwater Management page.

If you would like to contact the Water Resources Division with your questions, please visit our office, call us at 815-334-4560, or email the division at [email protected].