There are a few common parts of the SWPPP (stormwater pollution prevention plan) maintenance process for any site discharging stormwater, and one that's consistent across the board is the need for regular SWPPP inspections. These inspections involve the use of SWPPP inspection forms - what are the kinds of questions and areas typically found in these forms, and how can you remain in compliance with all of them?

At Silver Leaf SWPPP, we're here to provide clients across Utah with a wide range of SWPPP and stormwater management services, including SWPPP inspections for any site. Here are some of the questions and topics that will typically be found on SWPPP inspection forms and how you should be thinking about them.

(Note: This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, as precise topics for SWPPP inspection forms will vary based on site location, local regulations and more.)

Is the SWPPP Accessible on the Site?

One of the single most common topics on SWPPP inspection forms is simply whether or not the plan is readily available and accessible on-site. Remember, it's a requirement that all construction sites have a copy of their SWPPP easily accessible for any workers, inspectors or others who need to view it - if there are barriers in place preventing this, they must be corrected immediately.

For instance, if your SWPPP is currently stored in a locked, secure location that can only be accessed by certain personnel, this will need to change. The goal here is for any workers or inspectors to be able to access the plan easily and without having to ask anyone.

Are Best Management Practices Being Followed?

Another area that's often included on SWPPP inspection forms is whether best management practices, or BMPs, are being followed on the site. BMPs refer to specific measures that are implemented to prevent or reduce stormwater pollution and erosion.

For example, an inspector might check for the presence of necessary BMPs like sediment barriers, inlet protection devices, and proper erosion controls such as silt fences. They may also ask about any practices in place to minimize disturbance of soils and vegetation.

Is There Evidence of Sediment or Pollutant Discharge?

Getting into the real meat of the SWPPP, inspectors will also be looking for any evidence of sediment or other pollutant discharge on the site. They may take soil samples or look for signs of erosion to determine if there are any issues with stormwater runoff.

If they do find evidence of sediment or pollutant discharge, this may result in corrective actions being required immediately, including potentially halting certain work activities until the issue is resolved.

Is the SWPPP Being Regularly Updated?

SWPPPs need regular updating to reflect current conditions, and inspectors will be looking to ensure that this is happening. They may ask about any recent changes on the site, such as new construction activities or changes in land use, and confirm that the SWPPP has been amended accordingly.

They may also ask about any recent weather events and how the site has been impacted by them. If there are significant changes or concerns, it may be necessary to update the SWPPP more frequently than originally planned.

Are Inspections Being Recorded Properly?

During any SWPPP inspection, the inspector will be taking detailed notes and recording any findings. It's important that these records are being kept properly and in accordance with local regulations.

This may include documenting any corrective actions taken or maintenance performed on BMPs. It's crucial to have accurate and up-to-date records in case of an audit or if there are any issues down the line.

Were Responsive Action Items from Prior Inspections Corrected Properly?

Another major aspect of SWPPP inspections is ensuring that any responsive action items from previous inspections have been addressed properly. These may include items such as repairing or replacing damaged BMPs, addressing erosion control issues, or correcting any other violations found during prior inspections.

It's important to take these findings seriously and make the necessary corrections in a timely manner to avoid potential fines or penalties.

Are There Any Inactive Disturbed Areas That Need Stabilization?

Finally, inspectors will also be looking for any inactive disturbed areas on the site that may require stabilization. This could include areas where construction activities have ceased or are not currently taking place.

It's important to monitor these areas and make sure they are properly stabilized to prevent erosion and stormwater pollution. Inspectors may ask about any plans in place for stabilizing these areas, or may even require immediate action to prevent any potential issues.

At Silver Leaf SWPPP, our team is well-versed in all aspects of SWPPP inspections and can help ensure that your site remains in compliance. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an inspection for your construction site anywhere in Utah.

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