What scares our stormwater inspectors more than ghosts and goblins? Stormwater control measures (SCMs) in need of major maintenance. In this blog we share a few of our more dreadful maintenance issues and our suggested solutions.
Trash & Debris
Issue: This is the number one trick when it comes to our stormwater control measures. Inspectors can't help but be terrified by litter and improper waste disposal in SCMs.
Solution: Be sure to monitor your SCMs often especially before and after big rain events to pick up litter and keep stormwater flowing as designed. Never dump landscaping debris in your SCMs. Add routine SCM cleanup to your calendar and set a reminder!
Lack of Permanent Stabilization
Issue: Bare soil in SCMs sends shivers down stormwater inspector spines.
Solution: Be sure to overseed any bare areas. Add 2-3 inches of double shredded hardwood mulch to sparesely vegetated bioretention. Steep slopes or problem areas may require rock stabilization.
Invasive Aquatic Plants
Issue: We hope vampires and sea monsters aren't lurking in our SCMs but for those overgrown with invasive cattails and phragmites it would be hard to tell!
Solution: Work with SWCD to develop a management plan. Invasive plants will need a long-term management plan to fully eradicate and establish native plants in their place.
Incorrectly Installed or Damaged Infrastructure
Issue: Missing water quality orificies, damaged or blocked overflow drains - these are the things that keep stormwater inpectors up at night!
Solution: Check your SCM design plans and make sure your SCM is functioning as designed. Work with a contractor to fix damaged infrastructure - contact SWCD - we have contractor lists.
These are just a few of our most common issues, if you are struggling with SCM maintenance, you can learn more about SCMS and Maintenance here.
Wishing you all a Happy Halloween and we hope you receive many treats and avoid those spooky SCMs!
Blog Author: Elizabeth Hiser, Watershed Program Manager