The term stormwater professional includes staff from multiple disciplines. It takes teams from several entities to protect our waterways during construction projects and to implement stormwater control measures throughout our communities. Everyone has a role to play in keeping stormwater clean: the designers and engineers who plan projects, the staff who build and manage work sites, and the landscapers responsible for maintaining and supporting revegetation after construction.
The KICP has compiled resources for stormwater professionals and provides training opportunities throughout the year.
The construction industry has some of the highest levels of responsibility regarding stormwater pollution prevention. There are rules established by the EPA which the construction industry is required to follow. The Keep it Clean partners have also adopted ordinances that control all construction and development activity.
Polluted stormwater runoff from construction sites often flows to storm drainage systems and is discharged into local rivers and streams. The runoff can contain:
Effective construction site pollution prevention can dramatically reduce pollution into stream ecosystems.
The Keep it Clean partners have adopted ordinances that control all construction and development activity that disturbs one or more acres of land, as well as activity that disturbs less than 1 acre of land, but is part of a larger common plan of development.
The owner and/or operator of the construction site will be responsible for complying with these requirements and plays a key role in protecting our water quality. These requirements include temporary erosion and sediment control practices during construction and the installation of permanent stormwater quality facilities to ensure long-term protection of the water quality for runoff from the developed site. Fines up to $1,000 per day may be imposed for ordinance violations.
In general, construction and development contractors are responsible for:
During Design Review— Owner/operator must develop the following:
During Pre-Construction Meeting— Owner/operator must provide:
During Construction— Owner/operator is responsible for the following:
After Construction— Owner/operator is responsible for the following:
General Requirements for all Construction Activities (regardless of size) –
Owner/operator is responsible for the following:
For more specifics about these requirements contact the Keep it Clean Partner responsible for the jurisdiction in which your project is located.
Colorado Stormwater Resources
Stormwater protection does not stop once construction is done. Ponds, swales, ditches, and depressions that you see every day may actually be engineered stormwater facilities, known as stormwater control measures (SCMs) or best management practices (BMPs). When constructed and maintained properly these facilities have the ability to settle sediment and debris and reduce peak flows, providing a layer of protection for our creeks. Starting in 2006, any new construction or redevelopment project over an acre was required to install permanent SCMs in order to treat stormwater runoff from the development. The community in which the development has taken place then requires inspection and maintenance so that the SCM continues to function as designed.
What is Low Impact Development (LID)?
The literature is full of terms such as “Smart Growth”, “Low Impact Development”, and “Sustainable Development.” All of these terms refer to stormwater management practices that promote the reduction of runoff volume from urban areas.
The goal of LID is to allow for development of a site while maintaining as much of its natural hydrology as possible, such as infiltration, frequency and volume of discharges, and groundwater recharge.
In the LID approach, stormwater is managed in small, source control landscape features rather than in large, end-of-pipe pond structures located at the downstream extent of drainage areas. However, ponds may be required in addition to LID to create a “treatment train” effect. Through LID, hydrologic functions such as infiltration, peak and volume of discharges, and ground water recharge can be maintained with the use of reduced impervious surfaces, functional grading, open channel sections, disconnection and utilization of runoff, and the use of bioretention/filtration landscape areas.
With the LID approach, receiving waters experience little change in the volume, frequency, or quality of runoff or in the base flows fed by groundwater.
All the KICP communities reference Urban Drainage and Flood Control’s Volume 3 for SCM design. The Urban Drainage Flood Control District Volume 3 Outlines the four-step SCM planning process:
Stormwater quality needs to be addressed early in the design process. It is recommended that discussions regarding proposed LID elements occur early in each project between the developer’s planner, engineer, and municipal staff. Here are some ideas to consider as you think about ways to incorporate LID into your plans:
The focus of LID design is to manage the stormwater as close as possible to its source. This means managing stormwater on each individual lot rather than conveying the runoff to a larger regional pond. Retrofitting sites to improve water quality is also essential to the health of our streams.
All the KICP communities require that owners inspect and maintain their SCMs to ensure that they are working properly. Inspections and maintenance are necessary to ensure the SCM functions as designed and has a positive impact on local stream quality.
Inspection and maintenance plans detailing inspections, maintenance, frequency, and estimated costs are highly recommended, and in some cases it is required.
Gather your resources
Stormwater runoff from municipal operations can affect water quality. These activities range from the storage and handling of harmful chemicals to the maintenance of municipal properties, vehicles, roads, parks, and storm sewer systems. Activities such as integrated pest management, water conservation, recycling, erosion control, proper storage of materials, repair of equipment, spill clean up and education programs can prove to be very effective in addressing these pollutant sources. Below are best management practices and standard operating procedures for daily activities that could impact water quality. The Keep it Clean Partnership also provides a variety of educational materials that can be used by any municipality to conduct outreach to their residents about protecting their watershed.
Best management practices and procedures to prevent stormwater pollution and protect water quality:
Standard operating procedures for activities that could impact stormwater:
These outreach brochures can be distributed to the residents of any watershed: