You may have heard more about stormwater recently than you’ve ever heard about it before. Stormwater has been in the news quite a bit – particularly in the region of the Chesapeake Bay – because of tighter government regulations, new fees, and because stormwater is one of the largest sources of pollution in the Bay and its contributing waterways. Stormwater runoff picks up oils, sediment, and litter from impervious surfaces (such as parking lots) every time it rains. If this pollution isn’t captured by stormwater management infrastructure (and much of it is not) it makes its way into the Chesapeake Bay.
Stormwater infrastructure assessments with Fulcrum
At Stormwater Maintenance & Consulting, we perform inspections of all types of stormwater infrastructure. We assess the condition of a facility, make a list of all the problems we find, and make recommendations for how they should be resolved. We help our clients keep their stormwater management facilities in good working order because it helps them avoid fines (from their local governments), helps them stay on a maintenance budget and – we are proud to say – our work helps to capture pollutants as well as prevent other damage to streams.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with the non-profit Chesapeake Stormwater Network (CSN), to develop a visual guide to inspecting bioretention facilities. Bioretention facilities are a type of treatment facility that uses natural processes to clean stormwater runoff (read more about them on the CSN website). Because this type of low-impact design practice is still new to some, the guide, called Bioretention Illustrated, shows all the potential problems that an inspector should be trained to look for. The guide can be downloaded for free on the CSN website.
Using Fulcrum, we created an inspection app as a companion to Bioretention Illustrated. The app asks the user to rate the condition of each of the facility’s components, take photos of each, and record other pertinent data, such as measurements and descriptions. For sites with just a handful of bioretention facilities, or a municipality with thousands within its jurisdiction, the app serves as a way to:
- Help train inspectors
- Instantly make individual records for each facility
- Instantly create PDF reports
- Download a spreadsheet of data so you can sift through it efficiently
Since the app is freely available to anyone with a Fulcrum account, and it’s also customizable, the possibilities are completely up to the user.