There are several important elements that come along with starting a new construction project, and one of these is ensuring you have a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) in place if applicable. And while these may vary somewhat between states and individual providers, most SWPPP setups are carried out with some of the same general steps and approaches.

At Silver Leaf SWPPP, we're happy to offer a wide range of SWPPP services to Utah clients, from electronic SWPPP documentation to SWPPP inspections, erosion control solutions and much more. What are the general steps that should be followed in formulating a comprehensive stormwater pollution prevention plan? Here are several to keep in mind.

Gathering and Understanding State Requirements

First and foremost, before you can even begin the process of formulating an SWPPP, you must first make sure you understand all state-specific requirements that apply to your project. Different states may have different regulations and guidelines when it comes to stormwater pollution prevention plans, so make sure that you're familiar with exactly what is required in your area before moving forward.

In particular, here are some of the elements that may be required by your state for your SWPPP setup:

  • Cover, title page, contact info: A cover page, title page, and contact information for the responsible party must all be present.
  • Site description: A detailed description of the project site should also be included in your SWPPP document, including information about its size and location.
  • Mapping: In many cases, you may also need to include detailed mapping of the project site that includes relevant features such as drainage flow directions and surface water sources.
  • Best management practices: Your SWPPP document should also include a description of all best management practices (BMPs) being used at the construction site, with diagrams if necessary.
  • Outline of contaminant sources: An outline of potential contaminant sources and their expected impact should also be included in your SWPPP document.
  • Recordkeeping details: You should also include details concerning the recordkeeping that will be used to track progress and compliance with your SWPPP plan.
  • Inspection program: Finally, you must clearly define the inspection program that will be in place at the project site to ensure compliance with regulations, plus any amendments that need to be made here.

Some states may require other elements as part of their SWPPP plan, so be sure to check with your state for more specifics.

Site Assessment

Next up, you'll need to conduct a thorough on-site assessment of the project area. This will involve looking at all relevant factors related to stormwater control, such as erosion and sediment control measures, existing drainage systems, and any potential pollutant sources. You can use this information to come up with an effective plan for controlling runoff and stormwater pollution at your site.

While you're doing this, the mapping area we went over above is often very valuable in helping you to identify potential pollution sources and other areas of concern that may need to be addressed.

IDing Erosion and Sediment Control BMPs

When we talk about BPMs in the context of SWPPP, we're referring to best management practices - that is, the steps you'll take to control runoff and sedimentation at your construction site. These can include anything from silt fences and catch basins to rock chutes and other similar measures.

It's important to identify the best methods for controlling erosion and sedimentation according to the specific conditions at your project site, as this will help ensure that your SWPPP is as effective as possible.

It's also vital to realize that erosion control and sediment control, while similar, are not the same thing. Erosion control is all about preventing soil from being moved or disturbed by water, whereas sediment control focuses on capturing and controlling particles of sediment that may already be in the water.

Inspections and Continuous Maintenance

As your project progresses, you'll need to carry out regular inspections to ensure that your SWPPP is being followed correctly. This might involve everything from checking runoff control systems and sediment traps to inspecting erosion control and pollutant sources.

These kinds of maintenance areas need to be laid out in advance, as they provide important guidance when it comes to keeping your SWPPP up to date and in compliance with regulations.


Another important component of stormwater pollution prevention is maintaining accurate records. These might include anything from inspection reports to photographs of the project site. Keeping such records will allow you to track your progress and ensure that your SWPPP plan is being followed correctly at all times.

Before your plan is finalized, you should be clarifying how it will be monitored and tracked, as well as what kind of recordkeeping will be expected.

Writing the Plan

Once all of the above steps have been completed, you can move on to writing the actual SWPPP plan itself. This should include all of the necessary information from your site assessment and BMPs that you've identified, as well as details about inspections, recordkeeping and any other relevant information. You may need to consult with a professional in order to ensure that your plan is compliant with all applicable regulations, so be sure to factor that into your timeline.

Implementing and Reviewing the Plan

Finally, you'll need to implement your SWPPP and carry out regular reviews to ensure that it's still effective. This may involve making changes or additions to the plan, depending on the circumstances at your site.

By following all of these steps, you can make sure that your project is compliant with all applicable regulations, plus any amendments that need to be made throughout the construction process. This will help you to stay on top of any potential stormwater pollution issues, ensuring that your project can move forward without disruption.

For more on how to set up a stormwater pollution prevention plan, or to learn about any of our SWPPP services for Utah clients, speak to our team at Silver Leaf SWPPP today.

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