Schemmer’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)

What does SWPPP stand for? SWPPP stands for Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan(s). Did you know Schemmer creates our own Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP) for our clients to contribute to the effort of controlling stormwater discharges and protecting water quality? When stormwater drains away from a surface, it accumulates potential sources of pollution including:

  • debris,
  • sediments,
  • chemicals and more

as it flows over land and impervious surfaces before emptying into local water bodies. These accumulations can pollute local lakes, rivers, and streams, and have created the need for SWPPPs and other water resource services.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (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 (NPDES). SWPPPs address a facility’s pollutants and identify the Best Management Practices (BMPs) the facility is using to reduce pollutants in stormwater. A BMP is any type of installed structure or routine action used to control the release of pollutants from a site, such as silt fences and street sweeping, respectively. In addition, the SWPPP includes 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 (EPA), Construction General Permit (CGP), or local standards and codes, whichever is more stringent. The SWPPP must outline measures to prevent:

  • Loss of soil during construction by stormwater runoff and/or wind erosion, as well as 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. Site description
  2. Site plan
  3. Names and duties of the pollution prevention team
  4. Descriptions of activities that could cause pollution
  5. Control measures for preventing spills and minimizing hazards
  6. Spill response plans
  7. Procedures for conducting inspections and monitoring
  8. Provisions for employee training

City or State regulations require any construction project that disturbs more than one acre of land to have an SWPPP. In fact, the SWPPP must receive approval before a shovel can hit the ground. Subsequently, Schemmer's Civil Engineers must design a SWPPP that meets the jurisdictional requirements and is effective at controlling pollution from each particular project.

Civil Engineer SWPPP Duties

Above all, 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 construction site is different. As a result, each situation requires unique approaches to achieve successful pollution prevention.

Schemmer's Civil Engineers use their expertise to incorporate structural controls and construction methods into design and construction documents. Using their in-depth experience, they understand how to apply plans efficiently so it won’t negatively impact the cost or constructability of the project.

SWPPP design

Executing a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

SWPPPs always start prior to construction. Firstly, upon approval of the design and permits, Schemmer’s Field Services department walks the project site with the Owner/General Contractor (GC) to discuss materials necessary for the SWPPP. Such materials include:

  • Sediment basins
  • Silt fences
  • Gutter buddies
  • Dedicated fueling
  • 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 project site is also required to have a construction entrance that utilizes crushed rock or recycled concrete. As a result, 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. Similarly, rainfall of one-half inch or more also requires an inspection at the project site. Upon completion of the required inspection, 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. Most importantly, 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 construction is complete and the site is fully established with vegetation. At that time, the permit can be closed.

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

Additional Resource: NPDES Stormwater Program (EPA)


Schemmer is a full-service architecture, engineering, and construction field services, consultant. Providing responsible solutions for complex design and construction-related challenges.

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