What’s a SWPPP?

The biggest hurdle to any new concept can be the acronyms that get thrown around by those with more experience. While it’s a convenient way to express information quickly among the pros, people new to the space can be intimidated by the verbal hieroglyphics. We’re going to discuss the SWPPP (Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan) – what they’re for, how they work, and whether or not you need one for your project.

The California State Water Board issued an order in 1999 that required construction sites one acre and larger in size to comply with the EPA’s stormwater regulations for the construction industry. Since then, many projects have required a SWPPP to be uploaded online on the State Waterboard’s website called Stormwater Multiple Application and Report Tracking System, or SMARTS (We warned you about the acronyms…) While there are some exemptions, most projects that disturb one acre of soil require one.

A clean, pristine mountain stream free of storm water pollution
SWPPPs Keep Streams Pristine

The basic components of a SWPPP are the Site Plan, a Construction Schedule, and a list of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to mitigate erosion and pollutants escaping from the project site during the planned construction activities. The SWPPP describes the steps that are going to be taken to prevent nearby water bodies from being clouded with sediment or contaminated by chemicals.

Construction can be a dirty business. The lengths that modern construction professionals go to with the intent of keeping our environment clean are sometimes heroic. Other times, a little oversight is necessary. Either way, a Qualified Stormwater Practitioner (QSP) is a valuable teammate in the pursuit of environmental preservation and compliance with the SWPPP. A QSP will oversee the implementation of the SWPPP and document compliance with the State’s requirements. The QSP will usually arrive onsite at regular intervals, plus when there is rain in the forecast.

A properly conceived SWPPP combined with well-documented oversight will ensure compliance with the State Water Board’s guidelines. CTE Cal can provide SWPPPs prepared by a Qualified SWPPP Developer (QSD) for your next construction project, or we can provide a QSP to implement your SWPPP for the duration of your project. You’re already scheduling us for construction testing and inspection, why not save a phone call and check two boxes with one firm? Contact us at [email protected] to receive a quote for SWPPP and QSP services today.