Maintenance Matters: How Montgomery County Is Improving Stormwater Facility Maintenance Through Public Outreach

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Abstract:

Improperly maintained stormwater management facilities do not effectively treat runoff; they allow untreated polluted stormwater runoff to enter the storm drain system, and ultimately, local streams. The Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is actively pursuing an outreach project to engage property owner support for their work in stormwater management. The project will help the County meet its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and new Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements, including watershed restoration, Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), trash and litter reduction, and pollutant reduction estimating and tracking.

On behalf of DEP, URS Corporation is developing stormwater facility maintenance fact sheets and guidance documents. The fact sheets will help property owners understand their maintenance responsibilities, both structural and nonstructural, for stormwater structures located on their properties, and provide information for implementing low-impact development / environmental site design (LID/ESD) practices. The two guidance documents provide detailed information on maintaining vegetated facilities and recommendations for planting vegetation around existing stormwater facilities. The fact sheets and guidance documents are written for Montgomery County's target audience of a diverse group of property owners (e.g., single-family homeowners, homeowner associations, schools, religious organizations, commercial sites) who possess varying levels of knowledge about stormwater facilities and maintenance requirements. The final documents will be available to the public to download from DEP's Web site.

This project is an example of an effective outreach effort for public support of maintaining stormwater structures. By developing materials specifically for its constituency, the County hopes to increase property owners' understanding of stormwater management facilities and the importance of the associated maintenance requirements, and to promote the preservation of watershed and ecological health.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864712811699429

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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