The Importance of Annual Stormwater Inspections
It is recommended that your pond management professionals visit on a regular basis to assess and maintain the aesthetic and ecological integrity of your aquatic resources, including water quality monitoring, fish and wildlife habitat management, nuisance aquatic vegetation control, and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems. But there is another facet of pond maintenance that is not directly covered by a typical pond management contract, which is the structural and functional maintenance of your water features. This would include inspection and repair of issues such as erosion on the pond banks, clogging or cracking of inlet or outlet structures, dam embankment leakage, sedimentation, etc. It is important to ensure that your stormwater management facilities are functioning properly, especially when it rains!
The first steps to becoming a proactive steward of a stormwater facility include, at a minimum, conducting annual stormwater inspections. Annual structural inspections frequently identify maintenance issues that when repaired early and proactively, can prevent more costly repairs in the future. They can also help to predict when expensive repairs will be required to help with budgeting for the inevitable expenditures such as dredging.
An annual inspection of your stormwater facility is not only a good idea but, in many states, is now a local or state requirement. In the past few years, new legislation has strengthened the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, making compliance even more difficult for property owners and managers. By abiding, not only are you doing your part to prevent sediments and pollutants from entering waters of the U.S. as a result of stormwater runoff, but you are also providing proactive management of your stormwater facility that will definitely save you money over time.
Pond management professionals are very diligent about making observations of structural issues and notifying their clients, but this is very different from having a formal annual structural inspection by a qualified professional engineer. Pond management professionals work with engineers who will request the design plans for the facility, and will carefully check all of the important components of the pond to be sure that they are structurally intact and are functioning properly. When issues are identified, the inspection report will also recommend specific actions to remediate the problems. Sometimes remediating stormwater facilities that have been neglected can cost tens of thousands of dollars… much more than if proper preventative maintenance had been performed annually.
If you are not conducting annual stormwater inspections as part of your overall stormwater management plan, start now! Please feel free to call our offices to further discuss the benefits of and need for an annual stormwater inspection.
Contact SOLitude Lake Management to speak with an expert biologist, ecologist or scientist for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs. 888-480-5253 or [email protected]. Services are available throughout the Eastern United States. Aquatic products and consultation are available nationwide.