DEP’s Stormwater Facility Maintenance Program is responsible for inspecting and ensuring maintenance of all public and private stormwater management facilities within Montgomery County. DEP Planning Specialist Audra Lew guest blogs about the important role the inspectors play in the County:
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) stormwater management (SWM) facility inspectors are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness and functioning of all stormwater facilities in the County. The inspectors are responsible for both above ground and underground stormwater management structures.
Ponds and sand filters are the most common above ground features. As far as underground features, you may never see those save for manholes and inlets in parking lots. The purpose of the SWM facilities is to collect the “first flush” of stormwater, usually contaminated with street pollutants (oils, grit, detergents, deicers, etc.), fertilizers, and pet waste from lawns. The facilities retain large volumes of this stormwater, allowing some of the pollutants to settle or filter out before reaching our streams and rivers.
Using mobile technology, DEP SWM facility inspectors work throughout the county to inspect the more than 7,000 SWM facilities. The photos below capture an hour in the life of Inspector Rick Watson as he checks an underground structure at a county facility. Based on the inspection results, this structure has collected too much sediment and will need cleaning. The county’s SWM facility maintenance contractor will be tasked to clean the facility to the inspector’s satisfaction.
Clean, functioning SWM structures are key to healthy local creeks, streams, rivers and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. For more information on the SWM Facilities Inspection Program and how you can help the county manage stormwater, please visit http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DEP/water/stormwater-facilities.html.
Guest blog by Audra Lew, Stormwater Facility Maintenance Program Planning Specialist, DEP