Ever wondered why stormwater facility and best management practice (BMP) inspections are so crucial in Anne Arundel County, MD? Well, these inspections are not just a formality—they’re essential to comply with local regulations and keep the environment protected against the damaging effects of stormwater.
In this blog post, we’ll break down the importance of these inspections and the responsibilities that commercial, industrial, and residential property owners have in maintaining stormwater facilities. We’ll also dive into what happens if an inspection doesn’t go well and what you can do to ensure compliance.
Understanding the Importance of Stormwater Inspections in Anne Arundel County
Preventative maintenance inspections for stormwater management facilities are important for several reasons. For stormwater facility owners, inspections serve as definitive proof of your compliance with County Code, Article 16, Title 4 (Stormwater Ordinance), §16-4-303 and §16-4-401, as well as the specific requirements outlined in your Stormwater Management Maintenance and Inspection Agreement (SWMA).
Beyond compliance, inspections ensure the proper operation and functioning of your BMPs and stormwater management facilities. By conducting these proactively, any potential issues or deficiencies can be identified and addressed, preventing them from escalating into major problems in the future.
Proper maintenance can also greatly extend the lifespan of BMPs and enhance their ability to capture runoff and remove pollutants from stormwater, contributing to environmental protection. Additionally, well-maintained BMPs improve the aesthetics of the area and can positively impact community well-being.
Stormwater Facility Responsibilities for Property Owners in Anne Arundel County
The County Code and provisions of a Stormwater Management Maintenance and Inspection Agreement (SWMA) bind property owners to these responsibilities in perpetuity, ensuring the long-term effectiveness of stormwater management practices:
- Routine maintenance: Property owners are responsible for performing routine maintenance activities on stormwater facilities. This includes regular cleaning, clearing debris, mowing, and ensuring proper functioning to prevent any disruptions or inefficiencies.
- Inspections: Regular inspections are required to assess the condition of stormwater facilities and identify any potential issues or areas that require attention. Property owners must conduct regular inspections to ensure the facilities are in optimal working condition. The County is required by code to inspect each facility once every three (3) years.
- Budget allocation: Effective stormwater management requires appropriate budget allocation. It’s recommended that property owners set aside funds to cover maintenance, repairs, and improvements to ensure the facilities operate efficiently and meet regulatory standards.
- Maintain inspection records: Property owners should keep detailed records of all inspections, maintenance activities, and repairs conducted on their stormwater facilities. These records help track the facility’s performance, demonstrate compliance, and aid in planning future maintenance actions. Property owners must provide records to the County every three (3) years or upon request.
- Access to stormwater facilities: The Stormwater Management Maintenance and Inspection Agreement (SWMA) binds property owners to these responsibilities in perpetuity, ensuring the long-term effectiveness of stormwater management practices.
Anne Arundel County Stormwater Inspection Deadline
In Anne Arundel County, MD, the stormwater inspection deadline varies depending on the ownership of Best Management Practices (BMPs). Privately owned BMPs, typically maintained by commercial property owners, HOAs, or property managers, are required to undergo preventative maintenance inspections every three years. All stormwater management (SWM) facilities, including structural, micro-scale, and nonstructural practices, are subject to this triennial inspection process. Private facility owners must also maintain inspection records for each facility and provide them to the County every three years or upon request.
To determine if you are due for a triennial inspection, refer to your past In Compliance Notice from the county, which indicates the date of your last inspection. If three years have passed since that date, it is time for an inspection and record submission.
Failed Stormwater Facility Inspection
It’s common for facility owners to receive a Correction Notice from the local SWM (Stormwater Management) inspector following an inspection. In Anne Arundel County, the notice is sent via mail or email, depending on your communication preferences, and communicates any issues found during the preventative maintenance inspection. The Correction Notice will also explain the maintenance required to bring the facility back into compliance. Property owners are given 30 days to make the necessary corrections, unless the inspector and the property owner can agree on a schedule to complete the required maintenance by a specific date. Once the stormwater facility or BMP passes the inspection, or reinspection, an In Compliance Notice will be given. The facility’s next inspection will happen in three years.
Failure to comply with a Correction Notice
If a property owner does not comply with a Correction Notice, a Non-Compliance Notice and violation letter will be issued and sent via certified mail. The facility owner will then be given at least 30 days to comply with the requirements detailed in the notice. If the property owner still fails to make the necessary corrections, the matter may be referred to the Anne Arundel County Office of Law. This could potentially lead to legal action, such as injunction, and the property owner may face civil fines, penalties, and other enforcement actions as allowed by the County Code.
Let DFM handle your triennial stormwater inspection
Maintaining compliance with annual stormwater inspection requirements in Anne Arundel County can pose challenges. At DFM, we have a proficient team with extensive knowledge of the county’s regulations, ready to handle the entire inspection process for your property’s facilities.
Our team comprises certified stormwater management inspectors working under a director, and under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer in the State of Maryland, where necessary. These experts are dedicated to ensuring accurate inspections that fully adhere to county guidelines. They understand the specific requirements for each stormwater facility in Anne Arundel County, guaranteeing that your system meets all necessary standards.
Beyond inspections, we offer comprehensive coordination and execution of essential commercial stormwater maintenance tasks like vegetation trimming, pond mowing, sediment removal, filter cleaning, and more.
To save time, avoid complications, and ensure continuous compliance with state and county stormwater management requirements, reach out to our team today via our website or call us at 703-942-8700.