City of Boise

Excerpt from the Storm Water System Operation and Maintenance Handbook


Whether you manage an apartment complex or own a commercial development or industrial facility, properly operating and maintaining your storm water systems is critical. Storm water systems that are properly operated and maintained not only function better and provide better storm water treatment, but also reduce maintenance costs and liability problems. This handbook provides information on properly operating and maintaining storm water systems for residential, commercial, and industrial developments.

Proper maintenance is important

Every storm water system needs to be properly maintained to reduce or eliminate costly repair problems and to properly treat storm water. The lack of proper maintenance is the most common cause of storm water system failure.

Inspecting your storm water system

Frequent, thorough and consistent inspections are the key to the successful operation and maintenance of your storm water system. Inspections reveal the operational status of your system, identify needed maintenance actions and provide the information to update your O&M plan. We recommend that you inspect storm water systems after construction, at least twice a year, and after any rainstorm event that produces more than 0.5 inches of rainfall. Storm Water System Operation and Maintenance Handbook 7 Perform regular inspections until you are able to identify how often your system needs regular maintenance. The time interval in which you perform subsequent inspections should be determined by actual maintenance requirements.

Inspecting storm water systems safely

The individual inspecting the storm water system should always consider safety as the first priority. The inspector should have the proper safety equipment (heavy duty gloves, boots, first aid kits, for example) and training before conducting any inspections. Neglecting to follow even the simplest safety precaution can potentially cause serious injury. If the storm water system inspection reveals a safety problem, then you may have to modify your site activities to reduce or eliminate the safety risk.

Operation and Maintenance Recordkeeping

Keeping adequate records on the operation and maintenance of your storm water system is important. Not only does proper recordkeeping provide a useful record of past operation and maintenance practices, but also provides the owner or operator documentation that the storm water system has been properly operated and maintained.


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