System Cleanout

If your property has a stormwater quality permit then there is undoubtedly a system that captures silt, sediment, and gross pollutants before stormwater is discharged to the stream, creek, ditch, or storm sewer.  That system can be a detention or retention pond, end-of-pipe system, or an inlet based one. 

Regardless of the structure, at some point maintenance will be required. The maintenance needs are based on the type of system as well as several other factors specific to the system as well as the property.

With regard to ponds, that maintenance should be ongoing, including regular mowing and bi-annual fertilizer application as well as repairing any erosion and correcting any blockage of flow restrictions. With ponds, determining whether maintenance is required is simply a matter of knowing what to look for and then looking. 

Everything is out in the open so inspection is pretty straight forward. Maintenance needs for inlet based systems is also fairly easy to ascertain.  A visual inspection will reveal the need to clean out as these systems are located under the storm grates in the parking lot and easily accessible.  End-of-pipe systems, or vortex separators, are a little more tricky.

The reason being that these systems are intentionally designed to hold water between rain events.  So a visual inspection won’t work here.  Instead we need to measure sediment levels with the aid of a long (up to 30 ft.) measuring stick.

No matter which system is employed, maintenance and cleaning needs are ongoing, but only necessary based on the requirements of your SWQMP (Stormwater Quality Management Plan).  This document, created by the civil engineer, describes the type, function, and maintenance needs of the system.  And so we start here to get the facts and not opinions about maintenance. 

Opinions like “you have to clean the system every year as a condition of repermit”.  Now this may or may not be necessary based on the system’s use,  but typically maintenance is “as needed” and not necessarily on a schedule. The reality is that all properties are different and so maintenance is not a one size fits all proposition.  This is why we must first understand the specific requirements of the system found in the SWQMP.

If you haven’t heard of the SWQMP, haven’t seen one, and don’t have a copy of yours it needs to be on property for inspection by regulators. If you already have a stormwater quality provider and you aren’t familiar with the SWQMP for your property that should be a red flag.  How can we know the requirements of the system without knowing what is in the SWQMP?  

Part of our process is always to help our customers understand the requirements of their particular SWQMP.  To that end we procure a copy from the civil engineer of record or the county/city and go through it with the property manager or owner to clarify any confusion and “set the record straight”, so to speak. 

With this information and a solid understanding of the system and it’s maintenance requirements we feel the owner can make educated decisions based on the realities of the permit…not the word of a commissioned salesman.

Have you received notice from a governing entity concerning your Stormwater Quality permit and don’t really know what the right next step is?  Contact us today and we will get a copy of your SWQMP for you at no charge.  Additionally, we will schedule some time to go over the plan with you and explain the requirements and cost  associated with them. We feel that with the right information in hand our customers can feel confident that they are not performing (and paying for) unnecessary, costly maintenance.

And if you’re the type that doesn’t really care how the watch is made, you just want to know what time it is, we can do that too. And while we appreciate the trust, we provide all manifests and documentation for your records so that you can rest assured that your compliance is our main goal. 

 

Aqua-Filter Installation
Aqua-Filter Installation
Aqua-Filter Installation

Questions?