Abstracts of presentations given in Session 2 of the 2009 UCOWR conference


Many stormwater management manuals and guidance documents have stated the importance and estimated frequency of maintenance for stormwater best management practices (BMPs), but few have documented the actual frequency and intensity of maintenance required to maintain a desired level of performance and efficiency. Increased attention to mass balance, numerical goals, total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), and non-degradation requirements has created the need for more emphasis on BMP maintenance in order to meet permitting and reporting requirements. The purpose of this paper is to advance short and long-term maintenance considerations so as to develop more realistic maintenance plans. To do so, we conducted a national literature search for maintenance costs and developed, distributed, analyzed the results of a detailed municipal public works survey. The specific goals of the survey were to identify and inventory stormwater BMP O&M efforts and costs. Survey questionnaires were sent to 106 cities with 28 responses received. The survey related to the following topics: number of BMPs in the city, frequency of BMP inspections, average staff-hours spent per routine inspection/maintenance, complexity of BMP maintenance, most frequent causes of performance deterioration within BMPs, and cost of non-routine maintenance activities. The results of the survey revealed that most (89%) cities perform routine maintenance once per year or less. Staff-hours per year ranged from one to four hours for most stormwater BMPs and but were significantly more for rain gardens (one to sixteen hours per year) and wetlands (one to nine hours per year). The most common causes of performance deterioration were sediment buildup and litter/debris for most stormwater BMPs. Respondents indicated that the removal of accumulated sediment incurred the largest cost of all BMP maintenance activities.