StormWater Management Inspection and Maintenance
As a part of the Maryland Department of The Environment Water Management Administration’s triennial review and field inspection evaluation of the St. Mary’s County storm-water management program it was determined that regular maintenance inspections were not being adequately performed. At that time it was agreed that the Department of Public Works would be the lead agency in responding to this requirement. In 1996, an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance formally transferred the inspection and maintenance responsibilities for storm-water management facilities to the DPW. On July 1, 2001 this responsibility was transferred to the Department of Permits and Inspections.
In accordance with Code of Maryland Regulations Storm-water Management Maintenance Requirements 26.09.02.10 the owner of a storm-water management facility shall perform or cause to be performed preventive maintenance to ensure proper functioning of the structure(s). The responsible agency of the County or municipality shall ensure preventive maintenance through inspection of all infiltration systems, retention or detention structures. The inspection shall occur during the first year of operation and then at least once every three (3) years thereafter. Inspection Reports will be maintained by the County and will include descriptions of needed maintenance. The County shall provide procedures to ensure that these deficiencies are rectified by notifying the owner of same, indicating a time frame for completion of the repairs, performing a follow-up inspection, and adopting effective enforcement procedures if repairs are not undertaken or are not done properly.
Inspection and Maintenance
A Scope of Services was developed by the Department in November 1996 and the formal request for funding was requested from the Commissioners of St. Mary's County. On April 17, 1997 the County and the Maryland Environmental Service entered into a formal professional services contract to provide a complete storm-water facility inventory, a management system /database and on-going maintenance inspections. Notice to proceed was granted on July 1, 1997 when the budget monies became available. To date, we are in the process of completing the one and three year inspections for approximately 170 facilities accepted as part of the Grading Permit process between 1991 and 1995.
Level of Service
In the drainage setting, “Level of Service” means the extent to which stormwater is allowed to pond on the surface during a particular size storm; 10-year, 25-year or 100-year event. A typical five-level approach is:
Level A (superior)
Maximum water level below the top of curbs and all traffic lanes open;
Level B (excellent)
Partial yard flooding and standing water on the shoulder traffic lanes;
Level C (standard)
Yards flooded, first floor of buildings dry, road flooded except for crown;
Level D (substandard)
First floor of buildings flooded, water level up to six (6) inches over the crown of the road;
Level E (uncontrolled)
Essentially no flood protection.
Different levels of service are provided for different storms, such as Level A protection for the 10-year storm and Level D for a 100-year storm. Upgrading older systems to the same level of service as that of new developments can be prohibitively expensive in many cases.
Notice of Construction Completion
As of August 1, 1995 any new storm-water management facility/practice which has been reviewed, approved, constructed and has received a final inspection approval by the Department will have a Notice of Construction Completion (NOCC) Form forwarded to the Maryland Department of the Environment. In accordance with Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 26.09.02.09.C the forms must be submitted within 45 days following the completion of construction. The Department forwards the form to the Administration after final inspection and release of the respective grading permit.