Schemmer’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

As we celebrate National Water Quality Month in August, Schemmer continues to play our part by using our Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). When stormwater drains away from a surface, it accumulates:

  • debris,
  • sediments,
  • chemicals and more

as it flows over land and water-resistant surfaces. These accumulations have created the need for SWPPPs.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, SWPPP

Schemmer's Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

SWPPPs are a requirement of the 1972 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (the Clean Water Act) through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. SWPPPs address a facility’s pollutants and identify the Best Management Practices (BMPs) the facility is using to reduce those pollutants in stormwater. The SWPPP is an erosion and sedimentation control plan for all construction activities associated with a project. It conforms to the erosion and sedimentation requirements of the United States Environmental Protection Agency Construction General Permit or local standards and codes, whichever is more stringent. The plan must describe the measures that will be implemented to accomplish the following objectives to prevent:

  • Loss of soil during construction by stormwater runoff and/or wind erosion, including protecting topsoil by stockpiling for reuse
  • Sedimentation of storm sewers or receiving streams
  • Pollution of the air with dust and particulate matter

What is in an SWPPP?

All SWPPPs must include:

  1. A site description
  2. Names and duties of the pollution prevention team
  3. Descriptions of activities that could cause pollution
  4. Control measures for preventing spills and minimizing hazards
  5. Spill response plans
  6. Procedures for conducting inspections and monitoring
  7. Provisions for employee training

Any construction project that disturbs more than one acre of land is required to have an SWPPP and permit by the City or State. Schemmer’s Civil Engineers are tasked with pulling the permit for the project and designing an SWPPP that has to be approved before a shovel can even hit the ground.

An experienced, knowledgeable engineer is critical to a project’s success in meeting the permit requirements. Schemmer’s Civil Engineers understand SWPPP permit requirements and know effective methods to manage the potential pollutants that can occur during construction operations. Each project and site is different, requiring unique approaches to pollution prevention. Our civil engineers use their expertise to incorporate structural controls and construction methods, also known in the industry as BMP, into the design and construction documents. Using their in-depth experience, they understand how to apply them effectively so it won’t negatively impact the cost or constructability of the project.

Executing a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

SWPPPs always start prior to construction. Once the design and permits have been approved, Schemmer’s Field Services department walks the project site with the Owner/General Contractor (GC) to discuss the items needed for the SWPPP such as:

  • sediment basins,
  • silt fences,
  • gutter buddies, and
  • dedicated fueling and hazardous materials storage areas.

These items help stop pollutants and the erosion of soil from hitting the streets, wetlands, or inlets near the project site.

Every site is also required to have a construction entrance that typically utilizes crushed rock or recycled concrete. The rock helps remove mud and dirt from the tires of the construction vehicles before entering a paved street.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

SWPPPs and Inspections

As construction progresses, Schemmer’s team makes weekly or biweekly inspections, depending on if the project has a local or state permit. A half-inch rainfall also requires an inspection at the project site. The findings are documented and submitted to the designated city and/or state contacts, as well as the Owner and GC on the project. If deficiencies are found and not fixed in a timely manner, the project could potentially be shut down. Each project site is required to have the SWPPP documents on-site with the GC in case a City or State inspector visits.

An SWPPP continues throughout the life of the construction project until the final seeding. The final seeding has to cover 70 percent of the vegetated area when the City and/or State will then close out the SWPPP.

If you are looking for experienced Civil Engineering Consultants and Inspectors to handle your next SWPPP, let Schemmer’s experts help you!

Design with Purpose. Build with Confidence.

Schemmer is a full-service architecture, engineering, and construction field services consultant, providing responsible solutions for complex design and construction-related challenges. Founded in 1959, we are grounded in our past but remain fully committed to the future. Located in three States and six offices throughout the Midwest. Schemmer is providing services to clients from coast-to-coast and border-to-border across the United States.

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