2016 budget prep begins for many of you this quarter, and the importance of allocating funds to stormwater system maintenance is not always an obvious one. Here we have highlighted what we think are the top reasons stormwater system maintenance should be included in the budget for every property with a filtration system.
1. It's a municipal requirement.
If your property was built in 2003 or later, you more than likely have a stormwater filtration system (aka stormwater BMPs) that requires maintenance. Each city verifies that BMPs are properly maintained through the Annual Maintenance Verification Process. Failure to maintain the BMPs and submit verification of maintenance could result in a notice of deficiency and possibly fines. Budgeting for this required service will save you trouble when maintenance verification forms are mailed out to responsible parties each year during the dry season.
2. Preventative service beats corrective service.
You may be able to swing one service per year at your property, but if site conditions, rain events or BMP type indicate a need for more frequent service, it is wise to budget accordingly. The stormwater filtration system needs to be functioning properly, and the goal of your maintenance program should be to maintain that functionality.
Regular service over the course of a year is a more budget-friendly approach than having to immediately replace a component of your system because it has failed a city inspection due to damage from lack of maintenance. Filtration insert replacements are costly, and the weight of too much sediment buildup can damage these devices beyond repair. Damaged BMPs don't fly with city inspectors, nor do they adequately filter runoff.
3. Odors, backups and flooding are no fun.
Stormwater BMPs are designed to capture pollutants, trash, debris and hydrocarbons. These things don't always smell the best. In fact, the techs often comment on the unique smell of "stormwater sludge."
The capacity of filtration devices is finite. At some point, the contents that have built up over time must be removed. Otherwise, it's like an underground dumpster beneath your parking lot, emitting unwanted odors and potentially blocking the flow of water when it rains.
4. It's all about the water.
The fact that the quality of water at our beaches is so good right now simply because there has been less rainfall just shows how runoff is impacting our waterways. It is a leading cause of water pollution. Your stormwater filtration system intends to capture pollutants as they pass from the street level into the storm drain system and eventually to our streams, rivers and ocean. Maintenance includes removal of these pollutants and ensures the filtration process is functioning as it should. Who wants to swim, fish and surf in nasty runoff?
As you prepare your budgets for next year, be sure to know what type of system is on your property and what it requires to function correctly. Work with your stormwater vendor to develop a routine service program that meets the needs of your property, your budget, the city and most importantly, our waters.
If you don't have a stormwater vendor, or would like a competitive bid for your budget, we'd be happy to help you out, starting with a complimentary site inspection. Request Info >