There are several concepts that are important to be aware of within stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) creation and management, and several of these involve the specific actions taken as part of a given organization's approach. In particular, the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) is a vital part of this process.

At Silver Leaf SWPPP, BMP installation and maintenance are some of our top SWPPP services provided to clients around Utah, helping them remain in compliance at all times. Here are some basics on what BMPs are, the types to consider, and some of the important parts of your prevention plan that will include BMPs.

Defining BMPs in SWPPP

Within the realm of SWPPP management, many consider BMPs to be a general checklist of direct, specific actions that are taken to reduce or, better yet, erase any potential pollution of the nearby water sources. BMP implementation is often required by local, state and federal regulations in order to keep runoff from causing environmental damage.

Furthermore, BMPs are important for ongoing SWPPP management and maintenance. All of these steps should be taken with the goal of eliminating any negative impacts from stormwater runoff.

Types of BMPs for SWPPP

Generally, there are two types of BMPs for SWPPP settings:

  • Structural BMPs: All BMPs that relate to elements like fences, drainage systems, retention basins, vegetation and more are structural BMPs because they involve an actual structure.
  • Non-structural BMPs: These include preventative measures such as employee training, chemical use reduction and testing, sediment control methods and other tactics that don't involve a physical installation in the environment. Street sweeping, for instance, is a non-structural BMP.

BMPs and Erosion Control

One of the most important and notable parts of the SWPPP setting that must be closely managed is the prevention of erosion. Erosion control BMPs are effective ways to keep soil and sediment from running off your property and into nearby water sources, and they are often the primary methods of preventing pollution runoff from a given site.

Common types of erosion control BMPs involve things such as silt fencing, check dams and other similar measures, all of which are designed to keep soil from being swept away. Additionally, planting vegetation and other native plantings can be effective for long-term erosion control.

BMPs and Sediment Control

While often secondary to erosion control, sediment control BMPs are also vital for long-term SWPPP management. Keeping sediments from running off your property and into drinking water or other sources is the primary goal here, and it can be accomplished by using methods such as installing filter fabric on slopes, sediment traps, mulching and more.

It's important to note that many sediment control BMPs are also effective at controlling erosion, and vice versa. This is why it's important to consider your SWPPP as a whole and how each element of the plan can work together to keep your property in compliance.

Limiting Chemicals and Other Contaminants

Another common BMP that is often required by local, state and federal regulations is controlling the amount of chemicals and other pollutants that can end up in runoff. This includes things like reducing the usage of pesticides, not storing hazardous materials where runoff could become contaminated or limiting the amount of sites on-site that have to be tested for pollutants.

Additionally, certain types of non-structural BMPs are helpful here, such as employee training and regular testing of the runoff.

Remediation Supplies in Case of Spills or Accidents

Yet another frequent requirement for SWPPP planning is to have supplies and other materials on hand in case of an accidental spill or other incident involving runoff. This includes quick response products such as sorbent booms, absorbent pads and liquids and more, all of which can help clean up any mess that might occur in the event of a spill.

Having these supplies on-hand is important to both prevent any long-term damage from occurring and also to help maintain compliance with local, state and federal regulations.

Important SWPPP Accountability Information for BMPs

On top of the elements we've gone over here, SWPPP setups should contain information about some areas that speak to accountability. Some examples:

  • Who oversees BMPS: Who is responsible for making sure that the BMPs are being followed?
  • Consequences of non-compliance: What will happen if someone doesn't follow the BMPs set forth in your SWPPP?
  • Reporting requirements: What needs to be reported and when, and to whom?
  • Inspection logs: How often do the BMPs need to be inspected, and who is responsible for this?

By ensuring that all of these points are addressed in your SWPPP setup, you can ensure that everyone involved is aware of their responsibilities regarding stormwater pollution prevention and management. Additionally, having a complete understanding of the requirements will help you stay compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

SWPPP planning involves a diligent approach that takes into account many specific elements, from BMPs to various other forms of preventative measures. By understanding the requirements of your particular plan, you can ensure that everyone involved is aware of their responsibilities and that you remain compliant with all relevant local, state and federal regulations.

At Silver Leaf SWPPP, we understand the importance of having a comprehensive, compliant SWPPP plan that can help you protect your property and environment. We are here to help you develop a plan that meets all applicable requirements while also allowing you to do your part in preventing stormwater pollution. Contact us today if you have any questions or would like to learn more about any of our SWPPP services for clients around Utah.

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