In the planning stage of any of your construction project, you may need a permit for stormwater discharges from your intended construction site. Any construction activities like clearing, grading, or excavation, construction of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings, road building, and installing phone lines, pipelines or cable lines may disturb one or more acres of land. A stormwater permit is then required.
Your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) is an essential requirement to get stormwater permit in a construction project. Depending on your location, the requirement for your SWPPP permit varies. As the site manager you should know if your team can make their own SWPPP of you need a team of consultants in California. However, there may be fewer differences recently since states are now adopting the federal SWPPP requirements.
What Is SWPPP?
As the name implies, your SWPPP is your plan to prevent stormwater pollution.
There are variant names for an SWPPP. Some call it their construction best practices plan, erosion, sedimentation, and pollution prevention plan, sediment and stormwater plan, or some other similar terms. It is a site-specific, written document that identifies some potential sources of pollution at the construction site, may it be sediments or stormwater.
Specifically indicated in your SWPPP the procedure that will be implemented before, during, and after construction to comply with a general construction permit. Failure to perform the procedures indicated in your SWPPP may result in penalties from your state environmental agencies. It is then imperative to develop your SWPPP according to particular conditions present in the site and keep them up-to-date whenever changes in your site occur.
Why Is SWPPP Needed?
Sediment and erosion control is essential for all construction activities. These soil residues in a particular site are the primary source of your stormwater pollutant. If left unattended, excess sediment can cloud the water in the neighboring areas which in turn reduces the amount of sunlight in aquatic plants, smother aquatic habitat and other spawning areas, clog fish gills, and even impede navigation in waterways.
An adequate SWPPP can prevent stormwater pollution in your construction area. SWPPP is also coined as Best Management Practices (BMPs) because they are the company’s sediment and erosion guidelines and good housekeeping practices to preclude discharge of large amounts of sediments and other pollutants in waters of neighboring areas.
Good housekeeping practices are the company’s practical and cost-effective ways to maintain and clean construction facility to prevent potential sources of pollutants coming into contact with stormwater.
Primary SWPPP Elements
Although particular SWPPP varies in every construction activity, each should have the following essential elements.
– Stormwater pollution prevention team. Gather qualified personnel responsible for the preparation of the SWPPP and will assist the construction manager in implementing these practices to comply with the permit.
– Site description and summary of potential pollutants. Assess potential stormwater pollution sources in your construction site., evaluate existing sampling data, and prepare maps of your facility.
– Describe all control measures to be implemented. Select appropriate checks and actions that will lessen pollutants during storm events.
– Schedules and procedures. Develop methods for monitoring the implemented control measures and regular maintenance for each activity.
– Documentation. All practices and any control steps should be completely documented for inspection.
Understanding your primary SWPPP is the most common component of your environmental program. Knowing what it is and what it’s meant to do is your key to operating a construction that will stay out of existing and future troubles. Find out more about SWPPP by visiting SWPPP San Diego