Prepare Your SCM for the Upcoming Growing Season

The growing season starts in March here in North Carolina, and it is already fast approaching. This is the busiest time of year for stormwater maintenance, so it is important to be as prepared as possible. Read on to learn how you can set your SCMs up for success this year.

  • Cut, treat, and remove woody saplings. Saplings are fast growers and can quickly get out of hand. Take time before the growing season kicks in to make sure seedlings and saplings are removed from the dams, slopes, and vegetative shelves around your SCMs.
  • Pull dead vegetation in riprap. If dead vegetation has accumulated on top or among the riprap, pull it out. The vegetation eventually breaks down into sediment, so leaving it lying in the riprap will lead to faster sediment buildup among the rocks. Though riprap is intended to collect sediment as water flows through it, you can decrease the frequency that sediment needs to be cleared from the riprap by removing decaying vegetation.
  • Repair riser leaks. Concrete has a tendency to contract in winter, which can lead to cracks. Inspect your risers for cracks and prepare to have them repaired as soon as possible–concrete patching works best when performed at temperatures higher than 50 degrees, so if it is quite cold you may have to delay the repair until temperatures rise.
  • Ensure the low-flow orifice is clear. New shoots will be popping up soon as your established plants propagate. Though they can handle being underwater to an extent, a clogged low-flow orifice can lead to extended periods of high water levels that will drown the plants.
  • Establish a clear mowing plan. Whether you contract with a landscaper or a pond management company to mow your SCMs, confirm that you have mowing maintenance scheduled. In most cases, it is best to start mowing in March or April. Be sure the back of the dam is included in the scope of work, as this area is often forgotten but is still a part of the SCM. If there is any question as to which areas are the responsibility of the landscaper and which are to be mowed by your pond maintenance company, it may be helpful to make a map that clearly defines the areas so that no areas are missed.
  • Schedule any spring planting or aeration/overseeding. Spring is one of the best times to establish grass seed. If the slopes of your SCM need aeration and overseeding, schedule this work sooner rather than later to ensure you get on your contractor’s schedule before it gets too hot.

For more information or to schedule a maintenance appointment, contact us today.