Stormwater Maintenance Requirements

Stormwater Maintenance Requirements

Published on December 16, 2020

Know your code: Richmond property owners must adhere to stormwater maintain requirements for privately-owned stormwater facilities. Here are the details…

Sec. 14-331. – Long-term maintenance of permanent stormwater facilities.

A. All stormwater management facilities, including BMPs and other techniques specified to manage the quality and quantity of runoff, shall be maintained for their full lifespan. In order to ensure this result, the permittee shall sign and record in the local land records an instrument obligating the permittee to maintain all stormwater management facilities for their full lifespan. The instrument shall be on the most recent form approved by the Administrator. If the permittee will not be the owner of the stormwater management facilities once they are fully constructed, the permittee shall obtain the document from the future owner. The Administrator shall not issue a final approval of a stormwater management plan until the recorded document is received and is deemed acceptable to the City. At a minimum, the instrument shall:

  1. Be submitted to the Administrator for review and approval during the review period for the stormwater management plan;
  2. Run with the land;
  3. Provide access to the property for maintenance and regulatory inspection purposes;
  4. Provide for inspections and maintenance and the submission of inspection and maintenance reports to the Administrator; and
  5. Be enforceable by all appropriate governmental parties.

B.  At the Administrator’s discretion, such recorded instruments need not be provided for stormwater management facilities, including BMPs and other techniques specified to manage the quality and quantity of runoff, designed to treat stormwater runoff primarily from an individual residential lot, provided future maintenance of such facilities will be addressed through an enforceable mechanism acceptable to the Administrator. Facilities that are exempted from Subsection (a) of this section pursuant to this subsection shall not be subject to the requirement for an inspection conducted by the Administrator.

C.  If a recorded instrument is not required pursuant to Subsection (b) of this section, the Administrator shall develop a strategy for addressing maintenance of stormwater management facilities designed to treat stormwater runoff primarily from an individual residential lot on which they are located. Such a strategy may include periodic inspections, homeowner outreach and education, or other method targeted at promoting the long-term maintenance of such facilities. Facilities that are exempted pursuant to Subsection (b) of this section must comply with any requirements as required by the Administrator as a part of this overall strategy.

(Code 2004, § 50-410; Ord. No. 2014-116-89, § 3, 5-27-2014)

Facilities need to be maintained “as designed”:

Sec. 14-332. – Monitoring and inspections.

A. The Administrator is authorized to inspect any land-disturbing activity in the City for:

  1. Compliance with the approved erosion and sediment control plan;
  2. Compliance with the approved stormwater management plan or the agreement in lieu of a stormwater management plan;
  3. Development, updating, and implementation of a pollution prevention plan; and
  4. Development and implementation of any additional control measures necessary to address a TMDL.

The permittee or operator of a land-disturbing activity shall permit the Administrator to conduct such an inspection at reasonable times and under reasonable circumstances.

B. The Administrator is authorized to enter any establishment or upon any property, public or private, in order to conduct surveys or investigations necessary to ensure that stormwater management facilities are being adequately maintained as designed after completion of land-disturbing activities, to enforce this article or, when permitted by appropriate legal arrangement, including, but not limited to, a performance bond with surety, cash escrow, or letter of credit, for the purpose of taking appropriate corrective actions required by permit when a permittee, after proper notice, has failed to take acceptable action within the time specified. The operator of any such property shall permit the Administrator to conduct such an inspection, survey or investigation at reasonable times and under reasonable circumstances. The terms of the legal documentation referenced above will govern the terms of the Administrator’s actions with regard to taking corrective actions.

C.  The Administrator is authorized to require, and a permittee shall furnish, when requested, any application materials, plans, specifications, and other pertinent information as may be necessary to determine the effect of the discharge on the quality of State waters, or such other information as may be necessary to accomplish the purposes of this chapter.

The City will conduct inspections of stormwater BMPs once every 5 years:

The Administrator shall conduct an inspection of each facility, at a minimum, at least once every five years, except as may otherwise be provided for in Section 14-331.

(Code 2004, § 50-411; Ord. No. 2014-116-89, § 3, 5-27-2014)

It is a good idea to have a service provider perform routine inspections and maintenance prior to the agency authority. Once a notice of violation is established, the maintenance becomes part of a consent order and scheduling and scope is no longer flexible.

Stormwater maintenance requirements: Enforcement and Consequence

Sec. 14-335. – Enforcement.

If the Administrator determines that there is a failure to comply with the permit conditions, notice shall be served upon the permittee, operator or other person responsible for carrying out the permit conditions by any of the following: verbal warnings and inspection reports, notices of corrective action, special orders, and notices to comply. Written notices shall be served by registered or certified mail to the address specified in the permit application, or by delivery at the site of the development activities to the agent or employee supervising such activities.

Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any rule, regulation, ordinance, order, or any permit condition issued by the Administrator or any provisions of this chapter may be compelled in a proceeding instituted by the City in any appropriate court to obey such rule, regulation, ordinance, order, or permit condition and to comply therewith, by injunction, mandamus or other appropriate remedy.

Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or who fails, neglects or refuses to comply with any order of the Administrator or City, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $32,500.00 for each violation within the discretion of the court. Each day of violation of each requirement shall constitute a separate offense. The City may issue a summons for the collection of the civil penalty and the action may be prosecuted in the appropriate court. Violations for which a penalty may be imposed shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. No State permit registration;
  2. No stormwater pollution prevention plan;
  3. Incomplete stormwater pollution prevention plan;
  4. Stormwater pollution prevention plan not available for review;
  5. No approved erosion and sediment control plan;
  6. Failure to install best management practices or erosion and sediment controls;
  7. Best management practices or erosion and sediment controls improperly installed or maintained;
  8. Operational deficiencies;
  9. Failure to conduct required inspections;
  10. Incomplete, improper, or missed inspections;
  11. Discharges not in compliance with the requirements of the general permit.

(4) Notwithstanding any other civil or equitable remedy provided by this section or otherwise by law, any person who willfully or negligently violates any provision of this article, any order of the Administrator, any condition of a permit, or any order of a court pertaining to this article, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by confinement in jail for not more than 12 months or a fine of not more than $2,500.00, either or both.

(Code 2004, § 50-414; Ord. No. 2014-116-89, § 3, 5-27-2014; Ord. No. 2018-025, § 1, 2-26-2018)

What now? Schedule a stormwater professional to inspect and maintain your facility.

See our website for more information regarding stormwater maintenance. Complete the form below to schedule a call:

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Chapter 14 - FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT, EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL, AND DRAINAGE | Code of Ordinances | Richmond, VA | Municode Library. (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2020, from