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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO)

The Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO) applies to all development within the boundaries of Cook County, Illinois, and qualified sewer construction within the MWRD’s corporate boundaries or service agreement areas. Components which are regulated under the WMO include qualified sewer construction, drainage and detention, volume control, floodplain management, isolated wetland protection, riparian environment protection, and soil erosion and sediment control. The WMO went into effect on May 1, 2014.

The WMO was amended on May 2, 2024 to eliminate the requirement to submit a Jurisdictional Determination when development occurs in or near a wetland.  A summary of the amendment is here. Current versions of the WMO (redline and clean) can be viewed here.

The WMO Stormwater Management Report provides the cumulative progress of the implementation of the WMO, including the number of permits issued, the number of acres developed/redeveloped, and the total volume control storage, detention storage and compensatory storage approved under WMO permits.

Watershed Management Ordinance Permit Application Submittal System (WPASS)

To submit a new permit application through WPASS, click below:

Submit permit application

Resubmittals addressing review comments for permits under review are also submitted through WPASS using the unique link provided during the review process. 

Detailed instructions are provided below:

WPASS instructions

For any questions or assistance with submitting the permit application please email us at or call 312-751-3255.

Electronic Payment

To make an electronic payment for a new permit application, resubmittal, or revision, click below:

Make a payment

Job Start Notification 

The MWRD Local Sewer Systems Section’s Field Office must be notified at least two (2) days prior to beginning work under a permit or permit revision. Send an email with the project name, location and permit number to, or call 708-588-4055. Request for Final Inspections (RFI) and related documents can also be sent to

The MWRD conducted information sessions about compliance with permit requirements and the role of municipalities during construction.  Slides from these information sessions are available here.