Call Us: 
(801) 589-9806
Connect With Us:
Call Us: 
(801) 589-9806
Connect With Us:

BMPs for Utah SWPPP: Setup, Sequencing, Entrances

There are a few acronyms that are vital to be aware of in the world of stormwater pollution prevention management (SWPPP), including the broad term itself. One of the most important additional acronyms to know here is BMP, which is short for best management practice - why are BMPs important in construction sites and related areas, and what are the most vital such BMPs to be aware of in Utah?

At Cearley SWPPP, we're here to offer a wide range of SWPPP services to clients around Utah, including SWPPP inspector services, SWPPP plan setup and a variety of additional services that feature comprehensive BMP identification and management. Across this two-part blog series, we'll first discuss why BMPs are so vital within the SWPPP world, then get into some of the most important and notable BMPs for sites around Utah. 

BMPs for Utah SWPPP

Why BMPs Matter in SWPPP

Before we get into specific BMPs for construction sites and other potential areas of concern, let's first understand why they're such a big deal in the SWPPP world. BMPs are essentially practices or procedures that can be implemented to help reduce stormwater pollution risks, particularly on construction sites where these risks may be elevated due to heavy machinery and other factors.

BMPs are not only important for environmental reasons, but also for complying with local, state and federal regulations. They are designed to reduce sediment and other pollutants from entering nearby water sources during construction activities, preventing harm to aquatic life and maintaining the cleanliness of our rivers and streams.

So which BMPs are most important for SWPPP setups around Utah? Our next several sections, and on into part two of our series, will go over some key examples.

Proper Construction Sequencing

Many SWPPP measures are in place to prevent contamination from ever reaching nearby water sources, including construction sequencing itself. For instance, it's important for dirt stockpiles to be kept away from active construction areas - this helps prevent runoff from contaminating these piles and spreading pollution.

In addition, proper drainage channels and slopes should be established before any construction activity begins. This will help with the flow of stormwater and prevent pooling or flooding in areas that are not designed to handle it.

Vehicle Entrance Practices

Another important measure for preventing initial contamination is ensuring proper vehicle entrance practices are in place. This includes measures like tire washing stations, designated construction roadways and other procedures aimed at containing sediment within the construction site.

Furthermore, the entrance of the site must be maintained so that it does not become buried in soil or debris, which would prevent proper control of sediment.

Maintaining Prior Vegetation

One of the most important BMPs in preventing pollution during construction is maintaining prior vegetation on the site. This includes protecting trees, shrubs and other natural features that can help absorb excess stormwater and prevent erosion.

One big part of this process involves identifying areas where vegetation will not be disturbed and establishing buffers to protect them. This will also help with dust control on the site, preserving air quality in addition to preventing water pollution. In addition, areas like streams, wetlands and other sensitive habitats should also be protected from disturbance.

Drain Inlet Protection

For any construction site, it's vital to have proper protection in place for drain inlets. This often involves rock or a similar material being used to cover the inlet and prevent sediment or debris from entering.

In cases where there are multiple inlets on a site, they should be interconnected with proper drainage channels to ensure runoff is properly directed away from water sources. If needed, berms can also be created to divert excess stormwater away from sensitive areas.

Silt Fence Setup and Maintenance

One common form of BMP is the use of silt fences, which can help contain sediment and other pollutants. Proper installation and maintenance of these fences is crucial for their effectiveness.

Silt fences should be set up at least six inches deep in soil, with stakes placed every eight feet to provide stability. These stakes should be securely attached with heavy materials that will not come up. They should also be checked regularly for damage or buildup that may reduce their efficiency.

In addition, placement of silt fences is important - they should be located in areas with a significant amount of runoff, such as down-sloping areas. But they also should not be placed in the middle of waterways or used as check dams, both of which can damage the fence and increase pollution risks.

These are just a few examples of important BMPs for SWPPP setups in Utah. Part two of our series will cover several more, plus discuss how these measures are monitored and enforced on construction sites. For more information on our SWPPP services, speak to the staff at Cearley SWPPP today.