Stormwater Quality Systems Cleanouts – You Can’t Afford Not To
Having performed numerous system cleanouts over the past 4 years, I’ve seen, far too often, what happens when you wait too long to maintain your underground stormwater quality system: clogged drain pipes, damaged internal components, and backed up water flooding the property. Regardless of how the system has failed, the outcome is always the same: more time and more money spent to remedy a frustrating situation that could have been easily avoided.
Where do you start?
Sometimes it’s obvious that a system needs to be cleaned out – a detention pond/parking lot that is holding water means there is something obstructing the outfall pipe, which could be sediment or any random “floatable” that got stuck somewhere in the unit. But sometimes, it’s not that obvious. On the surface, everything appears to be functioning properly.
So how do you know whether or not your underground system needs to be serviced?
If you’re following the Stormwater Quality Management Plan for your site, you’re probably inspecting your system monthly. (If you’re not, you should be!) The inspection should include assessment of the unit’s effectiveness, sediment and water levels, and evaluation of the internal filter media (if any). Each type of stormwater quality unit has a unique maintenance and cleanout standard. Knowing the make, model, and size of the unit will help you determine when the unit needs to be cleaned out. Unless the units are inlet-based, you will likely need the services of a vacuum truck (or two, depending on the size of the unit).
Often, this is where Owners & Developers can get “stuck”. Who do you hire? How do you know if you’re getting a good price? How do you vet their services? Here are a few of the credentials you can ask about when looking for a vacuum truck service:
- Are they certified for confined space entry?
- Do they have the necessary equipment: recovery system and air tester?
- Do they have experience with the type of system that you have on your property?
- Can they provide you with a Disposal Manifest?
- Does the quoted price include all charges & fees?
Did you know?
The same regulations requiring a site to have a stormwater quality treatment system also require that system to be maintained at least annually. In fact, part of renewing the stormwater quality permit for your site includes a certification by a Professional Engineer who certifies that the unit is functioning according to design specifications and the site specific Stormwater Quality Management Plan for which it serves. In other words, the unit is clean and works the way it’s supposed to.
Not sure if your stormwater quality system would pass inspection? Let us take a look – our expertise is invaluable and our consultation is complimentary.