A stormwater management system is a basic and required feature of every commercial, industrial, or distribution center property. Whether the stormwater management system employs a dry or a wet pond or some other kind of system, the goal is to keep your property’s runoff from polluting adjacent properties and to remove pollutants from impermeable and semi-impermeable areas like parking lots and certain areas around the property.
Stormwater, in general, is runoff from rain or snowmelt and it has a significant influence on the condition of our waterways. Stormwater washes across ground surfaces after a precipitation event and accumulates whatever is on them, such as sediments, excessive nutrients, pollutants, microorganisms, and so on. These harmful compounds dissolve and are transported by stormwater.
In an undisturbed, natural ecosystem, the polluted water is cleaned before it reaches the waterways in regions with natural ground cover, such as grasslands or forests. The soil works as a giant water filter, soaking up polluted rainwater and filtering out toxins before it enters groundwater or other surface waterways such as creeks and rivers. This, however, is not the case when an ecosystem is disturbed by urban development like the construction of a commercial property. This is why there are mandatory programs in place like the Clean Water Act of 1972 and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit programs.
In general, the stormwater management system is low-maintenance and simple to overlook. As it turns out, ignoring it might lead to costly difficulties. Here are some of the most prevalent issues we deal with in stormwater management.
When a property floods after a storm, the most probable cause is a malfunctioning stormwater management system. Flooding often occurs initially in a parking lot area, but it may also affect buildings and adjoining properties if the flooding is severe. A flooded parking lot may result in hydroplaning and property damage, as well as the inability to utilize the lot under stormy weather conditions. Flooding in buildings and on adjoining properties is a significant liability that may result in property damage as well as costly legal fees and fines.
A visual assessment of the stormwater system and the removal of any obstructions are generally sufficient to address stormwater flooding. Stormwater flooding may be prevented by following these steps: During the inspection, a skilled stormwater management specialist will check the storm drains that transport water from the parking lot to the stormwater management system. They’ll also look at the pond’s outlets. Typically, cleaning any obstructions will clear typical issues; but, if it is discovered that the pipe is deteriorating, an engineering solution will be necessary in certain cases.
Distress to the parking lot itself might sometimes be the source of the problem. When parking lot pavement is installed, it is structured to guide runoff away from the lot and into the stormwater management system. Water might be draining in the wrong direction due to buckling and shifting pavement, leading to flooding and erosion.
Dry Pond Overgrowth
Dry ponds work by enabling water to soak quickly through the soil, allowing toxins to be filtered out. Heavy vegetative growth can reduce the soil’s capacity to percolate by replacing sand and loam with roots, reducing the soil’s ability to absorb excess stormwater. Flooding and the entry of unfiltered water onto adjoining properties can have inevitable consequences, which may result in legal action and/or additional costs.
The solution is pretty straightforward: keep dry ponds in good working condition by mowing them regularly and removing any wooded growth as soon as it appears. If you already have a dry pond with a lot of vegetation or other overgrowths, hiring a professional to remove and regularly maintain the retention pond would be the most cost-effective solution.
Stormwater pond embankments may deteriorate and fail if they are not properly planned or maintained. If erosion is identified early enough, it may be controlled relatively affordably using straw bales, netting, and plants. If erosion is allowed to continue, however, it has the potential to cause the whole system to collapse, resulting in floods and other issues, as well as costly repairs. The most effective and cost-efficient option is to inspect the pond on a regular basis for symptoms of erosion and deal with them as soon as possible.
It’s common for stormwater management systems to be inspected and certified by your local government or Water Management District. A non-compliance notice may be sent to you if you fail to renew your certification on a regular basis.
Although a well-designed stormwater management system is fairly low-maintenance, a property owner or manager should have regular inspections and routine maintenance performed to keep overall compliance up to date and safe for the people and property that might surround it.
There Are A Variety of Stormwater Management Solutions
An increasing variety of stormwater management options are available. Rain gardens and other vegetated infiltration areas, as well as detention ponds, are all ecologically acceptable strategies to manage contaminated rainwater.
Underground vault systems are another option for storing and treating waste when space above ground is limited. These systems are more costly, though.
Some of the most economical stormwater management systems are available for lower budgets and facilities that cannot afford to upgrade their infrastructure. Examples include drain coverings that temporarily block a drain; passive protection such as storm drain filters and filter “socks”; and emergency reaction kits for absorbent spills that may be kept near storm drains. There are stormwater management practices (BMPs) that may be implemented at the product level to help you meet and even surpass stormwater permit requirements.
If you need a better assessment of either your current stormwater management systems or are developing a new property that needs a stormwater management solution, contact one of Evercor’s experts today so we can help you assess the property.