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Proactive Stormwater System Maintenance

Proactive Stormwater System Maintenance - Cleaning drainage
Cynthia Cline
Cynthia Cline
July 1, 2022

Ongoing, routine maintenance is a critical part of ensuring the safe and effective operation of a stormwater system. Structuring a proactive maintenance program for the system can challenge system managers, but the time and effort investment pays dividends well into the future.

Stormwater management systems range in size and complexity but typically consist of above-ground basins, structures underground, and a network of drains and drainage pipes. The main goal of system inspection and maintenance is to keep stormwater flowing throughout all of these components without any obstructions.

Properly maintaining a stormwater system decreases costs that come with flooding and repairs, keeps pollutants out of waterways, and ensures regulatory compliance. Read on for answers to a few questions and more detail on proactive stormwater system maintenance and its benefits.

Proactive vs. Reactive Stormwater System Maintenance

Proactive vs Reactive

Proactive maintenance involves anticipating potential system issues and nipping them in the bud with effective maintenance procedures before any incidents happen. Designing a proactive maintenance plan requires system inspection, studying, and researching the root causes that contribute to chronic system problems.

In addition to signaling possible maintenance procedure changes, inspections can also reveal the need for other modifications for improvement such as different equipment, updated design standards, or a reworked development policy.

On the other hand, many entities that manage stormwater systems find themselves defaulting to reactive system maintenance. This approach can happen due to budget constraints, lack of personnel or expertise, and other issues.

Reactive maintenance means that the system is only maintained on an as-needed basis or only as areas of the system experience failure. This increases the entity's risk of exposure to emergencies such as floods and more everyday issues like damage from erosion, clogged catch basins, and accumulating toxins and pollutants.

Understandably, newer systems with very little real-time performance data result in more reactive management and maintenance. However, as a system matures, more data can reveal recurring problems and help management build more predictive and proactive responses into the maintenance plan.

Why Is Proactive Maintenance Beneficial?

Man doing maintenance to a drainage

Proactively maintaining a stormwater system keeps water cleaner from the moment it enters the system and all the way downstream. A solid maintenance program incorporating proactive tasks also makes it easier for system managers to catch problems early and prevent incidents.

Thinking ahead when it comes to maintenance tasks can reduce the costs, both financial and environmental, that come with damage caused by floods and other system failures. As a bonus, proactive system maintenance practices also make it easier to stay in compliance with regulatory requirements and promptly address any needed changes over time.

Does Proactive Maintenance Cost More Money?

It might seem like a no-brainer that more maintenance equals more cost. However, proactively maintaining a stormwater management system usually means an overall decrease in costs over time.

Keeping your upstream structures, such as catch basins, up-to-date on their maintenance and free of sediment, will increase the time between needed maintenance of downstream structures, such as filter vaults or detention tanks. This contributes to a net saving in maintenance costs. Also, routine catch basin cleaning allows your service provider to notice problems before they become bigger, such as a need for new grout before erosion begins to crack the asphalt around your catch basins.

Proactive stormwater system maintenance is an investment in a better, safer system and a decrease in pollutants in waterways for the community over time. Working with an engineering company that specializes in proactive maintenance practices, such as Catchall Environmental, can help uncover ways to streamline your stormwater maintenance and cut costs. And do not forget that a well-maintained system saves money due to fewer accidents, overflows, and emergency repairs and clean-ups.

An Easy Place to Start

A stormwater management system’s catch basins serve as the first line of defense for removing debris and pollutants from stormwater, ensuring that the water stays cleaner as it flows downstream. A system maintenance plan can become more proactive by adding effective filtration devices into all of the catch basins. 

When to Call In the Experts

Engineer doing inspection

Designing a proactive maintenance program requires inspection, study, and a certain level of knowledge and expertise, depending on the size and complexity of the system.

CatchAll Environmental has the knowledge and experience to help you formulate a system maintenance program for your stormwater system that effectively puts regular maintenance on auto-pilot.

Some companies only perform certain types of maintenance, which means you have to cobble together several resources to get the job done. CatchAll can provide comprehensive system support, including affordable drain cleaning, that addresses all of your system maintenance needs saving you money and time.

Looking for even more ways to defray maintenance costs? Catchall can work with you to uncover other cost-saving measures and take advantage of opportunities such as municipal rebates. Contact CatchAll Environmental today and let us help put a proactive plan into action for your stormwater system.