3 Critical Stormwater Inspection To-Dos
A compliant stormwater inspection program involves numerous moving parts and demands a significant investment of time. When developing your program, three critical areas can help lay the foundation for your future success: compliant inspection forms, accurate documentation, and inspector safety. By investing time into these three areas, you can streamline your inspection program, reduce the risk of shutdowns and fines, and keep your work moving forward.
Compliant Inspection Form
The first thing to do is make sure you have a compliant inspection form. Your form is critical to ensuring that your inspectors are looking for the right problems and not missing potentially critical issues.
When designing an inspection form, ask yourself, does my form capture the minimum compliance information required by government regulations? Oftentimes inspection forms are passed down from one inspector to another as positions change without ever being audited to ensure they ask the right questions or require the right data and other information.
Some examples of commonly missed items include:
- Current weather data including the precipitation totals since the last inspection.
- Pollutants and potential pollutant sources other than sediment
- Areas where water enters or leaves the site
Documentation is a significant portion of any stormwater compliance program and can be a significant source of deficiencies identified by regulators. Maintaining documentation means keeping an accurate corrective action item log, documenting communication between parties, consistently updating maps, as well as allowing parties to immediately record notes, concerns, or completions in the proper place. It is critical to compliance for a company to provide the necessary tools to encourage consistent documentation because stormwater compliance is only as effective as its documentation efforts. Consistent, manageable documentation will streamline the processes and increase compliance while reducing the risks of fines and shutdowns.
During our current pandemic, and considering other safety considerations at projects and facilities, it is never worth risking a life for a stormwater inspection. In the past, when someone talked about safety, they were usually talking about traffic and equipment awareness, slopes, runoff, trenches, and other hazards. Due to Covid-19, additional considerations such as social distancing require new and innovative ways to stop the spread of this virus. Moving your stormwater compliance efforts to be fully electronic helps keep people apart while allowing them to maintain the communication and documentation so critical to stormwater compliance.
By: Ryan Dickson