The town of Bluffton, SC recently announced that it has begun inspections of all stormwater drainage and treatment systems in a program that will impact both neighborhood and commercial developments. The inspection program is in place to ensure that the Town of Bluffton meets the requirements of the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit and the requirements of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Why Are Stormwater Inspections Important to Bluffton?
Here in our corner of Beaufort County the water system is a way of life. Our communities and recreation facilities are dotted with ponds, lagoons, and creeks that flow into the May River and other regional waterways. Functioning stormwater control measures (also referred to as BMP's) reduce or eliminate the impact of stormwater. For example, a functioning BMP may help filter chemicals and pollutants, improve water quality, reduce erosion, and help control flooding. So those lagoons in your community or adjacent to your business aren't just an eye pleasing amenity or a hazard for golfers - they function to keep our waters clean, keep local shellfish and marine life edible, and prevent major flooding.
Typical Stormwater Repairs
In Bluffton, the majority of stormwater deficiencies that will need repair will involve repairing aboveground stormwater facilities with the main issues being with retention ponds. Common problems include sloughing, erosion, algae, woody vegetation, sediment, and excessive aquatic vegetation. But issues aren't strictly limited to the condition of ponds and lagoons. Mechanical structures and pervious surfaces are also part of many BMP's. These include inlet and outlet structures, storm drains, level spreaders, swales, spillways, dry retention, ponds, bioretentions cells, proprietary systems, and more.
Some of these issues sound like they can be taken care of by your local landscaper - but that would be a mistake. Possibly a very costly mistake. Functional stormwater control measures are engineered systems and require a level of knowledge and expertise to return them to their ideal condition. So while your local landscaper may be able to clean, prune, and make the BMP look pretty it still may not function as intended. So now you've paid your landscaper to clean things up but are still on the hook for the correct stormwater repairs and any penalties incurred because of the continued deficiency.
The best course of action if you receive a notice of violation is to immediately contact a company that specializes in stormwater design, repairs, and maintenance. In Bluffton - and nationwide - that company is Restoration and Recovery. Founded in 2001, Restoration and Recovery serves the continental United States and Puerto Rico - and we even have a local office in downtown Bluffton!
An Ounce of Prevention...
The best way to ensure that your community of business performs well on future inspections is obtaining a stormwater maintenance agreement. This annual contract will maintaine your BMP as well as provide you information on any potential future repairs. The announcement by the Town of Bluffton is not a one time inspection. These inspections will be performed annually for all residential communities and businesses. Securing a stormwater maintance agreement today will provide you the peace of mind you need for all of the upcoming BMP inspections.
Restoration & Recovery
4324 S. Alston Ave. Suite 202
Durham, NC 27713