Private Stormwater System Management
Private Stormwater System Management
Bainbridge Island has public and private stormwater systems working together to prevent flooding and pollution. The City is responsible for the Island’s public stormwater system and more information is available on our Public Works’ Operations and Maintenance page. Private property owners are responsible for their own private stormwater systems. If you’re not sure if you’re responsible for a private stormwater system, contact us.
Private stormwater systems provide for collection, conveyance, flow control, and sometimes water quality treatment; and they might include a combination of the following components:
- Roof gutters and downspouts
- Catch basins
- Pipes (underground and/or aboveground)
- Ponds, tanks, vaults, etc.
- Flow Control Structures
- Treatment Filters
- Permeable pavement
- Rain Gardens
General Stormwater System Maintenance Requirements:
- No pollution - “Only Rain Down the Drain” Prevent anything but rainwater from entering any stormwater drainage facility or system and immediately remove any pollution that is found in your stormwater system.
- Safe access - the ability to safely inspect, operate and maintain
- Functional and structural integrity - ensure the system is working as designed and constructed, and is maintained to standards (e.g. no broken parts, no cracks or holes, no erosion, etc.)
- Reducing debris and sediment load - prevent and remove sediment and debris that may block pipes or the facility from functioning as intended
- Vegetation management - plant, cut, remove vegetation as needed
- Good housekeeping - use, store, and dispose of household waste, yard waste, and hazardous waste appropriately
Benefits of actively managing stormwater on your property will…
- Protect people and animals
- Increase safety and decrease liability
- Maintain your property value
- Minimize and/or eliminate flooding
- Prevent high-cost damage and/or repairs
- Improve site aesthetics
- Comply with environmental laws
- Reduce the amount of pollution in our Island creeks and Puget Sound
Tips for Inspecting and Maintaining a Private Stormwater System:
- Be smart and be safe.
- Annual inspections are recommended and in some cases are required. Frequency depends on need, legal requirements and/or your Operations and Maintenance Plan. To help guide your inspection, use the maintenance standards provided in the 2019 State of Washington Department of Ecology Stormwater Management Manual for Washington Western. Use these forms to complete and document your inspections:
- Catch Basin, Inlet, Manhole Inspection Checklist
- Control Structure Inspection Checklist
- Bioretention Inspection Checklist
- Pond Inspection Checklist
- Vault or Tank Inspection Checklist
- Media Filter Vault Inspection Checklist
- Oil/Water Separator Inspection Checklist
- Sand Filter Vault Inspection Checklist
- Certificate of Inspection Form for Private Stormwater Systems
- Flow Control and/or Treatment Facility Inspection Checklist w/Certification
- Maintain your system based on inspection results. Perform maintenance as needed and in a timely fashion, don’t wait to get to done unless it makes sense to.
- Consider hiring a professional service contractor. Companies can provide inspection and/or maintenance that is outside of your abilities or comfort level.
- Use the buddy system when inspecting. Perform inspection and maintenance with at least one other person.
- Do not enter any underground structure unless you and your buddy have a current confined space entry certification and fall protection equipment setup. Instead, use a flashlight, a mirror, and a probe stick.
- Make yourself visible by wearing bright or high-visibility clothing. Use signs and traffic cones when in areas where there is vehicle traffic, including parking lots.
- Consider the weather. Inspecting or conducting maintenance in heavy rain, snow, or in icy conditions is NOT recommended.
- Use personal protective equipment(P.P.E.) such as:
- A cell phone or other way to call for help in an emergency
- Work boots or sturdy shoes
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Budget for maintenance. Develop and implement a long-term maintenance plan and funding strategy to accomplish routine and non-routine maintenance.
- Keep records. Document and keep all inspection and maintenance activities. Also keep a map or diagram of your system, all its components, and where they’re located. Use the engineering civil plans for the property to help you. You may request civil plans from the City and they will be provided if they are on file.
- Contact the City Stormwater Management Program Coordinator. The City wants to help you to help yourself because private stormwater systems play a vital role in the health of our Island, streams and Puget Sound. If you want to learn more about how to inspect and maintain your private stormwater system, some technical assistance is available if you contact us, firstname.lastname@example.org.