|Stormwater BMP Maintenance
Stormwater Best Management Practice Maintenance
For the past few decades, local governments and regulatory agencies have worked to get stormwater best management practices (BMPs) installed in our communities. However, the installation of these stormwater ponds, raingardens, sump catch basins, etc. is only one small part of the answer in the long term. Regular inspections and preventative maintenance is one of the most important aspects to ensure that stormwater BMPs are functioning efficiently.
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) often requires the installation of stormwater BMPs as an element of new construction. MCWD requires a declaration or maintenance agreement to be recorded on the property title to facilitate a framework for post-construction regulation of BMP maintenance. These maintenance agreements generally require the property owners to inspect the BMP on an annual basis.
MCWD Stormwater BMP Program
If you buy a new car or a new house, you know that you will get many years of use through regular inspection and preventative maintenance – avoiding costly repairs and untimely failures. The same goes for stormwater BMPs, and as most of us know, the maintenance end of stormwater BMPs has been lacking for a long time. MCWD realizes that this has been neglected for too long, and we have created a renewed approach to addressing the issue.
Beginning in Fall of 2008, MCWD staff began to identify and map all stormwater BMP facilities that were permitted between 1996 and 2008. To date, we have mapped over 1,300 BMPs within the District. The next challenge will be the notification and education of property owners. Understanding that the responsible party may range from single family homeowners to commercial property managers, MCWD has made a coordinated effort to make education a priority and the driving mechanism of BMP enforcement and regulation.
Stormwater BMP Fact Sheets and a BMP Inspection Report templates have been sent out to property owners. They are also available online at http://www.minnehahacreek.org/RegulatoryPrograms.php#StormwaterBMP
MCWD Permitting Department staff are available to answer questions and meet property owners to perform inspection walkthroughs.
What can you do?
As technical staff, engineers, public works, and other local government representatives, you are all aware of the goals and challenges of successful BMP operation and maintenance. MS4s have specific requirements to fulfill to meet permitting regulations. MCWD would like to be as much of a resource for you as we are for property owners. As you prepare your stormwater pond inspection and maintenance plans, please let us know where we can help. We hope to follow-up with these requirements for property owners with oversight inspections, so please communicate your plans with us and we may be able to avoid duplication of efforts and help you achieve your MS4 requirements all at the same time. Please continue to provide education and outreach to your communities regarding the issue. The logistics and cost of BMP maintenance will be eye-opening, especially for the citizens and property owners who may not be aware of their BMP’s function and role in the first place.
Let us know how you’re tackling the issue, and we’ll plan on updating all involved parties moving forward. This is going to be one of the larger challenges we face as our stormwater infrastructure ages – lets plan a coordinated solution.
We will be having another breakfast meeting to go over any questions regarding the new rules on March 16th at 9:00am. We will provide refreshments and will meeting at our office in the lower level Board room.
WaterPro is targeted to technical staff in the area of water resources. About once a month, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) Regulatory Staff will be providing updates on information ranging from the District’s regulatory programs to in-the-field/on the job site BMP’s and treatment options. The goal is to close the gap between the natural environment and the built environment and to provide a vehicle for communication to a number of different agencies and entities.