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Why We Need SWPPP

Many developers and construction companies naturally think of SWPPPs — stormwater pollution prevention plans — as an expense and a nuisance. While we understand why, at Silver Leaf SWPPP, we also believe that it’s important to have SWPPP plans to protect the environment. What would life be like without SWPPP?

pollution from stormwater

The Clean Water Act of 1972

SWPPP grew out of the Clean Water Act, which Congress passed in 1972. The Clean Water Act was a series of amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948. Before these environmental laws were passed, there was little oversight of factories, plants or construction sites in the U.S. with regard to discharging pollutants into local waterways.

Although we tend to think of factories as being the major offender among groups polluting waterways, the truth is that farms are responsible for most water pollution through the use of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals that are harmful to people.

Despite the existence of federal regulations protecting our water, some companies choose to brazenly violate the rules. The Environmental Protection Agency lists dozens of companies and corporations that have paid many millions of dollars in fines over the years for violating the Clean Water Act.

SWPPP Plans in Utah

SWPPP was created specifically to protect waterways from dangerous runoff emanating from construction sites.

Storm drains provide a place for stormwater to go during heavy rainstorms. Without storm drains, rainwater could back up and flood the streets. But rainwater carries with it everything in its path. At construction sites requiring a SWPPP, rainwater can wash away dirt, debris, trash and contaminants such as oil and gas, paint, glue and more.

When you have a SWPPP, it may call for your company to take measures such as ensuring all trash is collected and placed inside sealed containers at the end of the day. It may also call for careful handling of paints, stains, epoxies, etc. If you are refueling trucks onsite, precautions must be taken not to spill any oil or gas.

Rainwater can also cause erosion control issues due to removal of vegetation such as trees, bushes and grasses. Erosion control solutions include installing silt fences, erosion wattles and erosion blankets.

These help to prevent contaminants from washing into the water supply, including sediment, which can kill plants growing under the water by preventing sunlight from reaching them. It can also make it harder for fish to see to hunt for food.

Successful Stormwater Management

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of why SWPPP is important here in Utah and across the U.S. Contact Silver Leaf SWPPP whenever you need a SWPPP inspector, help with SWPPP plans or have questions about erosion control solutions.

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