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Stormwater Management: A Guide For Everything You Need To Know + More

Construction contractors and site managers must adhere to certain EPA and WSDOE standards for stormwater management in Washington State. There are two main areas of stormwater management, including implementing stormwater management plans to manage runoff and industrial water treatment. But what is stormwater management, and why do construction sites need it?

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How Can Construction Activities Contaminate Stormwater?

Construction materials create dust and other particulates that can contaminate stormwater around the construction site. Bitumen, concrete, brick, soil, sawdust, fertilizer, chemical treatments, and other materials can seep into the ground or flow into nearby waterways and contaminate local water sources.

National, state, and local regulations for construction site drainage and filtering runoff to remove contaminants protect local waterways from pollution in stormwater drainage. Still, you may wonder what to do as a contractor or construction site manager to create stormwater management plans in compliance with EPA and WSDOE standards.

You can find companies specializing in managing your site’s stormwater management process and help you fulfill your obligations to prevent local water pollution from construction materials and operations. But first, the all-important question:

What Is Stormwater Management?

Stormwater management begins with an on-site assessment to determine the scope of services required for your work site. During the on-site consultation, your stormwater management engineer will look at your site’s watershed, evaluate for previous contamination from another operation, and determine how much space is available for dewatering and filtration equipment.

Your water management company can then set up the equipment in the appropriate zones at your construction site to include retaining ponds, pumps, hoses, tanks, and filtration systems.

Every construction site is different. Your filtration engineering company should be able to remove heavy metals, chemicals, particulate contaminants, and other potentially dangerous construction byproducts that can contaminate local drinking water sources. Filtration devices may utilize reverse osmosis, primary ion exchange, nanofiltration, and dealkalization.

One popular method includes using chitosan-enhanced sand filtration (CESF) to remove physical contaminants from the water. Chitosan consists of crustacean and shellfish shell pieces and is especially useful for removing particulates from water in filtration systems and enhances the efficiency of other filtration systems and equipment.

Best Management Practices for Stormwater Pollution at Your Construction Site

Stormwater best management practices (BMPs) include various solutions to control pollution from your construction site. These can include structural BMPs, which help contractors design methods to deal with construction runoff, and non-structural BMPs, which help contractors design methods to prevent pollution production.

Examples of structural BMPs include:

  • Point BMPs to prevent drainage from the site from reaching downstream water sources. Methods often include water retention basins, sand filters (like CESF), rain collection systems, and similar strategies.
  • Linear BMPs prevent contamination by running parallel to moving water sources like rivers or streams. Techniques include vegetated filter strips, subterranean sand filtration, and infiltration trenches.
  • Area BMPs replace hard surfaces that push water off with soft surfaces that absorb water, such as porous pavement or green roofs.

Examples of non-structural BMPs include:

  • Targeting sensitive areas near a construction site for protection from runoff
  • Reducing the use of landscaping changes to preserve natural vegetal and topographical protections
  • Observing and evaluating the watershed to determine how runoff moves from high points to lower points
  • Educating the community about how they can do their part to reduce pollution from their homes and businesses, including picking up after their dogs and fixing oil leaks from vehicles
  • Reviewing state and local waste ordinances to ensure you’re following best practices

Hiring an experienced construction stormwater management company for your construction site can help you address pollution concerns from your operations.

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Stormwater Runoff Management

The first part of developing a stormwater management system is to determine how you will control the flow of water from your site that results from storms, washing equipment, site preparation, and other activities that could lead to runoff.

Your solution will depend on the size of your work site, where your site is on the watershed, and the types of activities your contractors will perform on-site throughout the project.

Industrial Water Treatment

Any water that leaves your construction site must undergo professional filtration that adheres to federal, state, and local regulations. Your water must meet quality standards for turbidity, clarity, and other particulates in parts per million (PPM).

CESF systems, for example, are so effective that you can discharge water directly rather than needing to re-test for quality after filtration.

Contact an Experienced Construction Stormwater Management Company in Washington

If you need stormwater management in Puget Sound and Northwest Washington for your construction or industrial site, contact us today at Washington Stormwater. We specialize in stormwater runoff management and industrial water treatment. Call us to request a quote for your construction site at (360) 625-8366, or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a water management engineer.

Request a Quote

Planning a construction project or industrial build?

Contact our Washington Stormwater team today at (360) 625-8366 to schedule your onsite consultation.

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