Stormwater management and the steps to achieve it

Stormwater management inadequacy problems

Stormwater management is a way to manage the quality and quantity of stormwater. Stormwaters are generally polluted with a large amount of different types of impurities dissolved in it. With the growth of several construction projects over the years like driveways, parking lots, roads, houses etc. has led to the prevention of soaking of water into the ground. This has resulted in the increase in runoff volume during the storms. These pose a lot of problems when it enters the local stream, lakes, and rivers. It results in flooding and erosion and washes away several bacteria and several different types of organisms along with the chemicals like nitrogen, phosphorus, oils and several different types of metals thereby rendering the water unfit for use and also affecting the aquatic life.

Why a SWPPP?

The purpose of this plan is to avoid the harmful effects of Stormwater quality. The consequences are to insure clean waterbodies, lakes and rivers. The impurities of the stormwater has affected the quality of potable water and reduced to safe use of recreational water, in addition of harming marine life. Hence, SWPPP is needed for the sustainable environment.

Government laws for Stormwater management

So in order to reduce the runoff and check the quality of runoff streams the General Industrial permit (GIP) has made it mandatory for all outdoor activities facilities to have coverage. However, if all industrial activities take place indoor, filing a No Exposure Certification (NEC) is required. This will be mandatory for all industries listed in the permit (based on SIC code) staring July 1st, 2015. Earlier an NPDES Construction General Permit was released that covers all types of construction activities as well. All construction projects that disturb more than 1 acres of soil have to obtain the coverage under General Permit for discharges of Storm Water Associated with Construction Activity. It ensures reduction of pollutant from the stormwater discharged.

Requirements for Compliance

  1. Enter PRDs (Permit Registration Documents) into SMARTS ( Stormwater Multi Application and Report Tracking System).
  2. Prepare a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).
  3. Prepare a Site Monitoring Plan.
  4. Sampling and analysis (For Risk level 2 and 3 of construction site during any qualified rain event and 4 times per year for industrial facilities, 2 samplings between July and December and 2 samplings between January and June of each year).
  5. For industrial facilities apply of an NEC if applicable.
  6. Perform and document monthly inspections for industrial facilities. For construction projects, it is required to perform and document weekly inspections in addition to pre, during and post rain. Some projects (Risk level 2 and 3) require a preparation of a REAP (RAIN EVENT ACTION PLAN) for any qualified rain event (0.5 inches and more).
  7. Prepare an Annual Report and submit it through SMARTS no later than July 15th of each year.
  8. Risk level 3 projects have additional requirements (i.e., bioassessment, ATS, treatments…etc.).
  9. Be aware that some local agencies may ask for more requirements.

H2OEM role in Stormwater Management

H2O Engineering and Management provides clients with consulting expertise to improve storm water quality in various different phases of operation of an industrial facility or a construction project.