Annual Inspections: What They Are and Why They’re Needed

Stormwater control measures (SCMs) are critical infrastructure in our towns and communities. Each unique system is designed with measurements, grading, and components that are calculated specifically to process the amount of stormwater runoff produced in that community. In order to track these SCMs and ensure they are being maintained to regulation standards, many governing entities implement stormwater annual inspections.

Oftentimes, routine maintenance gets confused with the annual inspection. Both are important to keep an SCM in proper working condition; however, they are different services.

Routine MaintenanceStormwater Annual Inspections
Routine maintenance includes services such as carefully observing all components of the SCM, controlling the growth of nuisance vegetation and algae, removing trash, mowing the slopes and dam, monitoring the water quality, unclogging the drain orifices, and reporting any areas of concern that need repair. These visits are performed by trained technicians, generally every month In some cases though, maintenance may only be required on a quarterly or bi-monthly basis. After each maintenance visit, a maintenance report is generated and sent to the owner detailing the work that was performed and any issues noted by the technician.

Annual Inspection
The annual inspection, on the other hand, is performed by a Professional Engineer or a Registered Landscape Architect. The purpose of this service is to have a highly-trained engineering professional thoroughly inspect the structural functionality of the SCM and ensure it is meeting all of the requirements of the original design. For example, it is important to make sure that it has the minimum number of beneficial plants, that the ground cover is sufficient, that the dam is structurally sound, and erosion is being mitigated. The engineer who performs the annual inspection will then submit an official report to the governing entity. If they notice issues that require repair, they will specifically detail the work that needs to be done and provide a time period (generally 60-90 days) in which repairs must be completed. Once repairs are done and a passing inspection report is accepted by the governing entity, the SCM is certified for another year.

Both routine maintenance and stormwater annual inspections are important components of successful SCM function. If you have any questions or would like to request a proposal for maintenance, repairs, or annual inspections, please contact our office!