End of drought brings more emphasis on stormwater practices

With wet months ahead, builders are advised to update their stormwater plans.

Between the winter snowmelt and heavy spring rain, the drought has ended in Minnesota. As of mid-May, only a small portion of the state is classified as “abnormally dry.”

As the housing industry enters the wettest months of the year, Housing Industry News is providing a reminder on stormwater compliance. Best management practices (BMPs) are practices, techniques and measures that prevent or reduce water pollution from nonpoint sources by using the most effective and practicable means of achieving water quality goals.

BMPs include, but are not limited to, official controls, structural and nonstructural controls, and operation and maintenance procedures.

Common construction stormwater violations include:

Missing or inadequate soil stabilization. Without proper stabilization, the soil is vulnerable to erosion.

Missing perimeter controls. When perimeter controls are missing, stormwater carries sediment off-site and into the waters of the state.

Missing or inadequate inlet protection. Missing or inadequate inlet protection allows sediment to enter the storm sewers and/or water bodies.

BMPs not contained. Unmaintained BMPs do not function properly and allow sediment to escape and enter the waters of the state.

Vehicle tracking. Without a tracking BMP, vehicles track sediment onto paved surfaces.

Being ready for Minnesota’s wet months means keeping your job sites ready for rain events and inspections. Ensure that you have a Construction Stormwater Permit and Plan if one is needed. Remember to inspect your site within 24 hours of rainfall greater than ½ inch. Repair, replace or supplement all nonfunctional BMPs by the end of the next business day after the discovery, or as soon as field conditions allow access unless another time frame is specified by the MPCA.