What are stormwater management facilities?
Stormwater best management practices (BMPs), retain stormwater on a property to reduce runoff that causes erosion and carries pollutants to our rivers, streams, and wetlands. They can also help create habitat for various pollinators and wildlife. Green roofs, rain gardens, stormwater ponds, permeable pavement, rain barrels, and trees are some examples of stormwater BMPs.
Why do I have an SWMF?
Most stormwater BMPs are constructed to meet requirements when a property undergoes certain types of new construction or renovation. Some stormwater BMPs are constructed to get financial benefits from credits or discounts. All stormwater BMPs help improve the District of Columbia’s water quality!
You or a previous owner may have constructed a stormwater BMP to:
- Meet building permit requirements listed in a Stormwater Management Plan for a major land-disturbing activity or a major substantial improvement activity
- Receive a discount on a stormwater bill
- Participate in the District’s Stormwater Retention Credit (SRC) trading program
- Help protect our natural resources
Why is maintenance needed?
Just like a car, fireplace, or air conditioning system, a stormwater BMP needs regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Without proper care, BMPs can become clogged with dirt, oil, and trash reducing their ability to filter polluted stormwater before it enters our rivers and streams. Failure to maintain a stormwater BMP harms our waterbodies and wildlife, violates DC law, and may result in a fine.
How do I maintain an SWMF?
There are many types of BMPs, each with different maintenance requirements. The maintenance requirements for BMPs on your property are listed in your Declaration of Covenants, Stormwater Management Plan, and/or Green Area Ratio Plan.
DOEE’s Stormwater Management Guidebook provides comprehensive, technical guidance to maintain each type of stormwater BMP (i.e., BMP). Also, see the links to additional reference documents at the bottom of this web page.
If you are a homeowner, you may have one of the following types of green infrastructure SWMFs on your property:
- Rain garden
- Infiltration trench
- Permeable pavement
- Rain barrel
A property owner can inspect and maintain their own green infrastructure BMPs, if it is safe to do so, or they can hire a maintenance service professional (attached below).
Property owners with a cistern, sand filter, or a proprietary practice* must consult a
*Proprietary practices are patented stormwater management systems such as Baysaver® or Stormfilter®
The table below shows which types of BMPs property owners can inspect and maintain themselves, and which ones require a professional. Some green roofs and proprietary practices should only be inspected and maintained by professionals with proper safety equipment and training.
Important: Do NOT open manholes if you are not certified in Confined Space Entry.
How do I report stormwater BMP maintenance/inspection to DOEE?
Stormwater BMPs installed to meet regulatory requirements or for generation of SRCs can report maintenance service or BMP inspections via DOEE’s online Self-Inspection and Self-Reporting (SISR) process
How can I add my company to the stormwater BMP maintenance providers list?
To add your business to DOEE’s lists of stormwater maintenance service providers, please submit the stormwater BMP Maintenance Service Contractor Questionnaire (also attached below). You must complete the entire application for DOEE to review and approve it. DOEE updates this list annually in April. Applications must be received by February to be included in the April update.