What are stormwater management facilities?
Stormwater management facilities (SWMFs), also known as stormwater best management practices (BMPs), retain stormwater on your property to reduce runoff that causes erosion and carries pollutants to our rivers, streams, and wetlands. They also help create habitat for pollinators, birds, and wildlife. Green roofs, rain gardens, stormwater ponds, permeable pavement, rain barrels, and trees are some examples of SWMFs.
Why do I have an SWMF?
Most SWMFs are constructed to meet requirements when a property undergoes certain types of new construction or renovation. Some SWMFs are constructed to get financial benefits from credits or discounts. All SWMFs help improve the District’s water quality!
You or the previous owner may have constructed an SWMF 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
Why is maintenance needed?
DOEE periodically inspects SWMFs that are part of a Stormwater Management Plan to ensure they comply with the District’s regulations.
Just like a car, fireplace, or air conditioning system, your SWMF needs regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Without proper care, SWMFs can become clogged with dirt, oil, and trash that reduce their ability to filter polluted stormwater before it enters our rivers and streams. Failure to maintain an SWMF harms our waterbodies and wildlife and violates DC law, which may result in enforcement action.
How do I maintain an SWMF?
There are many types of SWMFs, each with different maintenance requirements. The maintenance requirements for SWMFs 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 SWMF (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 SWMFs, if it is safe to do so, or they can hire a green SWMF professional maintenance service provider (also attached below).
Property owners who have a cistern, sand filter, or a proprietary practice* must consult a gray SWMF professional maintenance service provider (also attached below).
*Proprietary practices are patented stormwater management systems such as Baysaver® or Stormfilter®
This table shows which types of SWMFs 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 have not received confined space training.
How do I report SWMF maintenance/inspection to DOEE?
Property owners who have a Stormwater Management Plan must keep current maintenance records for their SWMFs and provide them to DOEE inspectors upon request. After a DOEE inspector confirms that an SWMF was maintained correctly, the inspector will provide the property owner with a Maintenance Service Completion Inspection Report for their records.
There are three options for providing SWMF maintenance information to DOEE:
- Self-Inspection and Self-Reporting Program
DOEE’s online Self-Inspection and Self-Reporting (SISR) process is a simple way to create accurate and up-to-date records for SWMF maintenance. The property owner creates an account that can be shared with property managers, maintenance professionals, and DOEE staff to record and store maintenance and inspection information for multiple years all in one place, including DOEE’s Maintenance Service Completion Inspection Report.
- SWMF Maintenance Service Contractor's Report
Owners or their agents can email a completed SWMF Maintenance Service Contractor’s Report (a fillable PDF form also attached below) to describe the work that was performed and then keep a copy for their records.
- Request a DOEE Inspection
Call or email to request that DOEE inspect your SWMF:
[email protected] | (202) 480-5067
How can I add my company to the SWMF maintenance providers list?
To add your business to DOEE’s lists of green or gray SWMF maintenance service providers, please submit the SWMF Maintenance Service Contractor Questionnaire (also attached below). You must complete the entire application for DOEE to review and approve it. DOEE updates this list yearly.