Stormwater Quality Narratives

Most civil engineers groan when tasked with developing a Stormwater Quality  Management Plan (SWQMP). 

This is understandable given that while important, developing narratives is not as attractive as solving the multitude of challenges involved in civil design. 

Because of this, it should come as no surprise that the task of SWQMP creation is typically relegated to the most junior of EITs  (Engineer in Training).

SWQMP: The Challenge

This frequently results in an assortment of primarily irrelevant ideas that are often just pulled from the internet. Even worse, they sometimes unnecessarily obligate the property owner to perform maintenance that is not required per local ordinance.  

The truth is that any maintenance or inspection schedule in the SWQMP must be adhered to. But did you know that the regulators reviewing these documents will only comment if the minimum requirements are not met? 

Suppose the author of the narrative goes above and beyond these minimum requirements, and the regulators approve. In that case, those “extra” maintenance/inspection items become part of the manual. 

They will need to be performed to keep the permit compliant. This additional burden on the owner can equate to extra cost, and nobody wants to spend money unnecessarily.

 Additionally, an honest assessment of the SWQMP permitting process reveals that these permits are rarely accepted on the first submittal. It typically takes 2-4 revisions before approval. Time wasted that could be better spent doing civil design.

Understanding What Is Required

The problem is that stormwater quality is not required on all projects, which means that this is not part of the regular course of business for engineers. An average-sized engineering firm creates 10-20 narratives per year; hardly enough work to dedicate to one employee. 

So every narrative becomes a one-off, sucking up valuable time for the EIT just trying to figure it all out. This may be mitigated using a template, but unfortunately, things change quickly in the SWQ requirements. 

This means that the template that worked last month or last year will need revisions to be compliant today.

The Solution: Find A Stormwater Expert

 At Stormwater Professionals Group we have created and nurtured unique relationships with regulators. We continuously remain in the know about changes to ordinance, regulations, and processes that help fast-track the SWQ submittal process.

This gives us the advantage of typically receiving approval on the first submission.

 So let us take this burden off your plate “turn-key” by the development of narratives as well as document submittals. As an alternative, we can provide just the narrative, and you can submit it if you prefer. 

We can also assist in proper BMP selection, focusing on the upfront cost as well as the often-overlooked maintenance costs, and, ultimately, the cost of ownership.

The Stormwater Professional Group Process

 Our process for BMP selection includes looking at as many systems as you’d like. We have a very unique viewpoint when it comes to SWQ treatment. 

Having maintained just about every system available, we are very familiar with them all as well as the cost to maintain them. Our approach starts at the end, with the maintenance burden. 

Without knowing the cost of maintenance we aren’t looking at the entire picture. And not all system maintenance requirements are the same.

Maintenance is rarely ever discussed in lunch and learns, usually because systems salesmen have no real-world understanding of the maintenance of their products.

We typically run a 10 and 20-year cost analysis, including the system’s upfront cost, estimated install cost, and typical maintenance burden. With this knowledge in hand, the proper choice becomes apparent to the engineer. Giving you peace of mind in the appropriate selection of BMPs.

 Contact us today with your latest project. We’ll provide a no-cost assessment and recommendations for providing stormwater quality, including a breakdown of upfront and estimated ongoing maintenance costs. In fact, we’re so confident that you will find value in this service that we will provide your first SWQMP at no cost and with no further obligation.

Aqua-Filter Installation
Sample SWQMP
Aqua-Filter Installation

Questions?