What is SWP3?

What is SWP3 and what does it involve?

Storm-water runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snowmelt flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not penetrate into the ground. As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff is discharged untreated. In addition, construction stormwater runoff from construction activities can have a significant impact on water quality. As stormwater flows over a construction site, it can pick up pollutants like sediment, debris,and chemicals and transport these to a nearby storm sewer system or directly to a river, lake, or coastal water. Polluted stormwater runoff can harm or kill fish and other wildlife. Sedimentation can destroy aquatic habitat, and high volumes of runoff can cause stream bank erosion. Debris can clog waterways and potentially reach the ocean where it can kill marine wildlife and impact habitat.

The primary method to control stormwater discharges is the use of best management practices (BMPs). In addition, most stormwater discharges are considered point sources and require coverage under the Clean Water Act, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Most states have been authorized by EPA to implement the NPDES stormwater program. The Construction General Permit and Multi-Sector General Permit apply only in areas where EPA is the permitting authority.

Most industrial stormwater permits require installation and implementation of control measures to minimize or eliminate pollutants in stormwater runoff from your facility. The control measures you choose for your facility must be documented in your facility‐specific Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SW3P). The results of your stormwater monitoring will help you determine the effectiveness of control measures, and overall stormwater management program. Evaluation of the storm-water management program will include inspections, visual assessments, and monitoring (i.e.,sampling). Regular stormwater inspections and visual assessments provide qualitative information on whether there are unaddressed potential pollutant sources at your site, and whether existing control measures are effective or need to be reevaluated. Stormwater sampling provides quantitative data to determine pollutant concentrations in runoff, the degree to which your control measures are effectively minimizing contact between stormwater and pollutant sources, and the success of your stormwater control approach in meeting applicable effluent limits.

Farmer personnel have extensive experience in multiple states including Colorado, Texas, Michigan, Tennessee, and others, with industrial and construction stormwater issues. This allows us to assist in the implementation of stormwater permits including development of the SW3P plan, implementation of BMPs, development of an effective monitoring program, revisions and updates to existing plans, and annual discharge report requirements.