In the stormwater compliance industry, we use a lot of different tools to ensure that our waterways stay clean. We work with things like silt fence, filter fabric, gutter buddies, and strategically placed gravel on the regular to physically stop erosion at the site. But what about taking a more indirect route? This kind of Best Management Practice (or BMP) is referred to as a non-structural BMP. This is where different types of ordinances, maintenance schedules, strategic planning, or education come into play. In these cases, there is no fixed structural part to these types of BMPs, and they focus on changing behavior through other means.
Non-structural BMPs can be very effective and have several benefits for those that implement them. Some of these benefits can include a reduced cost, broader coverage through things like community-wide initiatives, the potential for incentives through a regulatory agency, general flexibility through the ability to easily adjust a measure to a different priority, and broader understanding amongst the community. Although you can sometimes do unique and interesting things with silt fence and filter fabric, structural BMPs are often limited in their form and function.
One of the most obvious non-structural BMPs is simply ensuring a regular schedule of maintenance to be followed. This can include establishing a sweeping schedule to keep roads clean, having regular trash and debris collection, solid waste collection, having a water truck visit the site to keep wind erosion down during dry spells, and cleaning out inlet baskets. This can even include the weekly visit from your stormwater inspection professional!
Another solid non-structural BMP can involve the proper use of planning and signage around site. Some examples of this include ensuring that your washouts are marked and in the appropriate spot, that the boundaries to sensitive areas are marked, or just a general sign at the entrance to your site so that people aren’t using unauthorized points of entrance and tracking dirt everywhere. Something as simple as marking that a washout area has changed can go a long way!
Finally, the use of education is very important for ensuring that people understand why stormwater compliance is important, as opposed to just have a series of rules with no reason. Having someone explain the purpose of these regulations that need to be followed may allow people to see why it is important and what the consequences could potentially be. Having your team attend a stormwater training session can help to explain the benefits and the purpose of stormwater management and compliance.
Non-structural BMPs can go a long way in helping stay in compliance with your stormwater requirements. If you are wondering the best way to implement non-structural BMPs on your site, and would like a consultation, you can contact KCI. We can help you design an appropriate BMP plan for your site, small or large.