If you own commercial property in Prince William County, staying informed about the requirements and deadlines associated with stormwater management is crucial. One essential aspect to remember is the annual inspection requirement of private stormwater management facilities and best management practices (BMPs). In this blog post, we address some common questions surrounding stormwater inspections in Prince William County, VA.
What is a stormwater management facility inspection?
Inspecting stormwater management facilities and BMPs is an essential part of maintaining stormwater management systems. Stormwater facility inspections ensure these facilities function as intended, effectively managing the quantity or rate of stormwater runoff released. On the other hand, a BMP inspection aims to address water quality issues and make sure the practice adequately prevents pollution from leaving the system. These inspections can be performed independently or combined when the facility and BMP are constructed to function together as a unified system.
In Prince William County, stormwater inspections are conducted annually for all privately owned stormwater facilities and BMPs. A standard inspection involves visually observing and evaluating the condition, functionality, and maintenance of structural and non-structural stormwater management features. For underground facilities, inspections may require the use of CCTV cameras to assess a facility’s condition. Some underground facilities may also require confined space entry for the inspector to inspect and document the facility’s condition.
Stormwater inspection assessment items
When performing a stormwater facility inspection, several indicators are used to evaluate the performance and functionality of the stormwater management system. An inspector will typically consider the following items depending on the type of stormwater facility undergoing inspection.
• Structural Integrity: An inspector will check for signs of erosion, cracks, settling, or any damage to the physical condition of the facility that may compromise the system’s effectiveness at conveying or treating stormwater.
• Sediment Accumulation: Sediment accumulation is a common purpose of many stormwater management systems, so finding sediment is no surprise. During an assessment, an inspector will look at the level of sediment build-up within the system, particularly in sediment basins or forebays, and determine if it’s affecting the facility’s capacity to retain sediment effectively and should be removed.
• Vegetation: Vegetation plays a crucial role in certain stormwater management systems. The presence, health, and adequacy of vegetation in vegetated swales, bioretention areas, and other green infrastructure elements are essential to treating stormwater. Inspectors will look for signs of erosion, lack of plant cover, invasive species, or the overgrowth of vegetation, which can hinder the system’s performance.
• Outlet Structures: Outlet structures, such as weirs, pipes, rip-rap outflow channels, or control valves, are closely examined to ensure they function correctly. Blockages, signs of damage, or any malfunctions that might impact water flow or contribute to system failure may be identified for follow-up maintenance.
• Water Quality: Sometimes, water samples are collected from the stormwater facility to assess water quality parameters such as turbidity, pH, and nutrient levels. Water quality testing helps determine if the facility effectively reduces pollutants and protects water quality.
• Debris Accumulation: The overall cleanliness and maintenance of the stormwater management facility will be studied. Inspectors will look for debris, trash, or any obstructions preventing water from flowing or infiltrating properly. Inspectors may also look for evidence of past maintenance activities, such as mowing, vegetation trimming, or sediment removal.
• Design and Compliance: The inspector will review facility plans or stormwater as-built drawings to ensure the facility was built and functioning as intended. An inspector may also check the facility’s records, permits, and maintenance logs to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
Prince William County stormwater inspection deadline
According to county regulations, private stormwater management facilities and BMPs must be inspected by June 30th each year. Completing your stormwater inspection by the June 30th deadline offers several significant benefits.
Foremost, it helps you stay in compliance with Prince William County’s stormwater management requirements.
Next, meeting the inspection deadline extends the time available for necessary maintenance activities. When an inspection report is submitted by June 30th, facility owners have until the end of the calendar year (December 31st) to carry out and document any required maintenance activities. This includes tasks such as vegetation trimming, mowing, sediment removal, and other identified maintenance needs. By completing an inspection early, you can plan, budget, and execute these activities efficiently and effectively.
Failure to meet inspection requirements
If a facility owner fails to perform an annual inspection, the county or an authorized agent may do so on their behalf. When this happens, the facility owner is responsible for reimbursing the county for all costs related to the inspection and any necessary maintenance to fix issues identified by the county representative. After the county performs the inspection and maintenance, the facility owner must reimburse the county within ten days of receiving notification.
Completing an annual inspection in Prince William County
When it comes time to conduct your required yearly inspection for stormwater facilities and BMPs in Prince William County, VA, facility owners must be aware of the following key points.
First, involving a professional engineer licensed in Virginia is crucial in the inspection process. County regulations require that all inspections be carried out by or under the guidance of a licensed professional engineer.
Second, a professional engineer licensed in Virginia must seal the final inspection report submitted to the county. Adhering to these guidelines not only fulfills your obligations to Prince William County but also ensures the accuracy and reliability of the inspection process.
Let DFM handle your annual stormwater inspection.
Maintaining compliance with annual stormwater inspection requirements in Prince William County can be challenging. At DFM, our experienced team is well-versed in the county’s regulations and can handle the entire inspection process for your property’s facilities.
Our certified stormwater management inspectors and licensed professional engineers will ensure the accurate completion of the inspection, fully complying with county guidelines. We understand PWC’s specific requirements for each stormwater facility and will ensure your system meets all necessary standards.
In addition to inspections, we offer comprehensive coordination and execution of required maintenance tasks such as vegetation trimming, pond mowing, sediment removal, filter cleaning, and more.
Contact our team today via our website or call us at 703-942-8700 to save time, avoid complications, and ensure ongoing compliance with the county’s stormwater management regulations.