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Stormwater Inspection and Maintenance is Not Optional

By Ron Etter, Envirnomental Group Manager, Koontz-Bryant, P.C.

With stormwater management designs becoming more and more sophisticated, the days of installing and then forgetting about your stormwater collection system have passed. Increasingly, states and municipalities are not only requiring that a Stormwater Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Plan be in place, but they are actually taking enforcement measures against those who do not comply with the inspection and maintenance requirements. Enforcement measures may include:

  • Verbal warnings
  • Notices of violation and corrective actions
  • Notices to comply, including civil and criminal enforcement procedures resulting in civil fines up to $32,500 per violation per day, and/or
  • Criminal prosecution for violation of the Clean Water Act.

The development and implementation of site-specific inspection and maintenance programs is essential to maintaining facilities that function as intended and limit offsite environmental impacts. Owners are required to inspect their facilities regularly to determine maintenance needs in addition to the localities’ periodic inspections. Routine inspection and maintenance can help keep overall maintenance costs at a minimum by detecting problems early and avoiding large repair or replacement costs.
The key goals of any O&M plan are to:

  • Relay information between the designer/engineer and those actually providing maintenance of the stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs).
  • Identify all facilities, runoff sources, and stormwater conveyances including pipes and discharge points.
  • Provide long-term guidance and recommendations for maintenance activities in order to prevent system deterioration and failure.
  • Provide annual inspections and regulatory reporting
  • Simplify stormwater management for owners, operators, and property managers

These measures help to protect a client’s investment in the stormwater facilities. Along with the monetary cost there are aesthetic costs. A well-managed BMP is a landscaping asset to a property that enhances the visual appeal. A poorly maintained BMP is an eyesore and can result in negative impressions of the property. Poorly maintained BMPs can result in fines and notices of violations from the local Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) authority.

Koontz-Bryant helps owners, operators, and property managers by coordinating all work related to the inspection and maintenance of the stormwater management system. Some of the ways we can help is to:

  • Provide stormwater designs that are tailor-made for each project site
  • Assist in the development of site-specific O&M Plans
  • Inspect the entire stormwater collection system
  • Coordinate all maintenance activities
  • Provide post-construction inspection of the stormwater management system in order to ensure that the site is in compliance with all state and local stormwater requirements
  • Provide recommendations and detailed design plans to bring existing stormwater systems back into compliance with the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) requirements.

If you have any questions, comments or are in need of stormwater advice, call or email Ron Etter at 804-200-1920.