Preparing for Rain!

12
Feb
2014

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)

It’s no secret that California is experiencing its worst drought in recent history. In fact, the State Department of Water Resources recently took a survey of the Sierra Nevada snowpack and found the water content at only 24 percent of average for the time of year.  With rain finally in the forecast, residence are having mixed emotions about the coming storms. Folks in Southern California are filling sand bags and stabilizing exposed slopes that could cause mud slides.  In the northern part of the state, flash flooding is a concern due to stormwater runoff and the potentially high volume of rain forecasted to fall over a short period of time.  Here at Westervelt Ecological Services we are preparing for the rain by monitoring our recently constructed projects that have a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

A SWPPP is a document required by state and Federal regulation for projects that falls under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act (CWA): National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), General Construction Permit. The document identifies areas of a construction site that may cause erosion and be a potential source for polluted stormwater discharge. Additional elements of a SWPPP may also include; a site map(s), roadways, storm water collection and discharge points, general topography both before and after construction, drainage patterns across the project and Best Management Practices (BMP’s). As part of the SWPPP a site must be monitored.

A Qualified SWPPP Practitioner (QSP) must inspect a site before, during and after rain events that have the potential to produce ½” of rain or more. In addition, runoff control measures must be put in place and inspected weekly. Chris Holland, QSP for Westervelt Ecological Services oversees the inspections, “When it rains, I am out walking our sites to make sure runoff is being properly managed. It’s a wet job, but a necessary one.”
So as the rain makes it way accross the state, we are all bracing for the impact and doing our best to prepare for whatever Mother Nature has in store.