Structural BMPs are physical, structural, or mechanical devices or facilities that are intended to prevent pollutants from mixing with stormwater. Examples can include: berms, oil/water separators, roof coverings.
Operational BMPs are non-structural practices that prevent or reduce pollutants from mixing with stormwater. Examples can include: making sure staff know how to respond to spills, making sure staff know how to dispose of grease properly.
How will I know which BMPs relate to my business?
City staff will refer you to specific BMPs found in the King County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual (found at www.kingcounty.gov/sppm.)
What happens during Pollution Prevention inspections?
City staff will arrive at your business unannounced. While walking around the business site with an employee, City staff will note any sources of stormwater pollution. Staff will then identify BMPs to control the sources of pollution. Some of these problems may be resolved immediately, - simple changes such as covering open waste containers. But other problems may take additional time to correct per the appropriate BMPs. Inspections will typically take only 15-30 minutes. Afterwards, City staff will follow up to verify that problems have been resolved and provide technical assistance as needed.
How can I prepare for an inspection?
- Make sure that only unpolluted rainwater enters storm drain(s) on, or adjacent to, your site.
- Read Federal Way Revised Code (FWRC) Chapter 16.55 to learn more about BMPs.
- Read Federal Way Revised Code (FWRC) Chapter 16.50 to learn more about what types of discharges are allowed or prohibited.
- Get familiar with the King County Commercial BMP resources.
- Contact Pollution Control Specialist Dan Sternkopf at email@example.com or 253-397-6945 with any questions.
Commercial and multi-family stormwater inspections are conducted annually. A postcard is mailed to recorded property owners notifying them when the inspection will take place. It is not necessary to be present during the inspection; however, if you would like to be present, please contact us.
In most cases, the inspector does not need to enter the building. The exception is if the system is located in a secured area, such as a stormwater pond located inside a locked fence. In that case, the inspector will contact you to gain access to the facility.
What to Expect
On the day of the inspection, the inspector will do a visual check of the catch basins, storm drain inlets, flow control structures, detention ponds, tanks, vaults, pumps, treatment systems and oil / water separators on your site to ensure they are working properly. They will be looking for high sediment levels in structures, missing or broken components, obvious drainage problems, and invasive or noxious vegetation. The most common maintenance required is removing excessive sediment and vegetation. A follow-up letter will be sent to the property owner only if treatment system repair(s) or structure cleaning is necessary.
Single-Family Construction Projects: Erosion & Sediment Control (ESC) Inspections
Surface Water Management inspectors handle all ESC inspections for single-family construction and remodeling projects. These inspections are a component of the City’s building permit. The City's four required ESC inspections include:
- Pre-Construction Meeting: Inspectors identify the ESC measures needed
- Initial ESC Inspection: Inspectors verify that all of the measures are installed correctly before construction begins
- Interim Inspection: Inspectors ensure that the measures are working properly
- Final Inspection: Inspectors confirm that areas of disturbed soils are permanently stabilized.