Best management practices (BMPs) for managing stormwater on construction sites are ever evolving and growing in number. Keeping informed of the latest innovative BMPs and the new and improved tools available is integral to successfully preventing erosion and migration of sediment from construction sites. See the Erosion and Sediment Control Training fact sheet for additional information related to developing an overall program on municipal erosion and sediment control training.
This fact sheet provides guidance on how owners and operators of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) and contractors can stay informed about new BMP resources that could be included as part of the MS4 overall training program on erosion and sediment control.
Exposed soils and other construction site pollutants can be carried off site by rainwater, snowmelt, or wind and deposited in local waterways. Sedimentation build-up decreases water levels, negatively impacts water clarity, and can damage aquatic vegetation and habitat resulting in poor water quality. The use of proper erosion and sediment control and site management BMPs can prevent sediment and other pollutants from leaving construction sites and protect our waterways.
New technologies are being developed continually. Improved products mean better protection with potential additional benefits such as lower costs, less maintenance, more efficient installation time, and sturdier reusable products. In addition, new technologies become available regularly to replace, maintain, enhance or otherwise contribute to the effectiveness of currently installed BMPs.
An MS4 program could include two main components: 1) an updated list of BMPs that are encouraged or required to be used within the MS4, and 2) a dissemination tool that allows for this list and associated resources to reach contractors and interested parties locally.
BMP references should be made available to MS4 staff, contractors, inspectors, construction crews, and any other individual responsible for installing, constructing, repairing, maintaining, or inspecting erosion and sediment control measures. MS4 staff will need ways to find new, up to date information and ways to disseminate it. Because new technologies and practices are constantly evolving, the tools for disseminating the information must be flexible so regular updates can be made
A list of BMPs with associated description and applicability can be developed based on many available resources. The BMP list should be reviewed at a minimum semi-annually and updated as needed based on new BMP information. The following are resources that provide new and up to date information about stormwater management and erosion and sediment control through workshops, webcasts, newsletters, print publications and online articles.
A tool should be used to regularly communicate BMP information to developers, designers, engineers, contractors and other interested parties. A list of individuals and organizations that typically work within the MS4 should be generated and updated frequently. In addition, the dissemination tool should be able to reach MS4 staff as well as any other individuals responsible for installing, constructing, repairing, maintaining, or inspecting erosion and sediment control measures. Also consider the variability in delivery methods needed to get to all targets; for example, electronic materials may be useful in an office situation while personnel working in the field may benefit from hard copy materials.
Newsletters - Send out monthly, bimonthly, semiannual or annual newsletters electronically or in postal mail with new information and highlighted products and practices. The newsletters could be targeted towards business, construction companies, and contractors as well as municipal staff.
Annual training and workshops Provide annual training workshops that highlight new technologies and erosion and sediment control practices. See the fact sheet on Erosion and Sediment Control Training for more information on training sessions.
Websites Establish a webpage on an MS4 website that highlights new technologies and provides contractors with additional information and online resources. Advertise the website and its resources in permitting materials and at certification training sessions.
Maintenance includes continually seeking information on new technologies and BMP practices. Any tools for dissemination of the information will need to be maintained on a regular basis so that they include the most up to date information.
Staff time and effort staying knowledgeable on BMPs as well as direct cost for holding workshops, developing, printing, and mailing newsletters, and setting up a webpage will be associated with this type of program. Some or all of these costs can be off-set through the municipal permit fee structure or stormwater utility fee.