Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) inspects businesses and works with them to prevent pollutants from entering private and public storm drains. The Seattle Stormwater Code requires that businesses implement and maintain source controls (also known as best management practices or BMP’s) specific to their site activities. Best management practices are control measures implemented to prevent rainwater from coming into contact with pollutants. Best management practices includes things like covering a pile of exposed soil to prevent erosion, moving drums of waste away from storm drains and having a spill kit on hand to deal with spills.
The Business Inspection Program is part of the City’s overall Stormwater Management Plan, developed to comply with the requirements of the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology. Source controls are provided and enforced under the City’s Stormwater Code, Chapter 22.800 – 22.808 and associated Director’s Rules.
What happens during an inspection?
During an inspection, the Inspector will talk with the site manager or owner and gather information about what types of activities occur at the site. The Inspector will walk the site with the property representative and make observations about what best management practices may already be in place and which ones are still needed. During the inspection, the Inspector will provide onsite technical assistance regarding the best management practices that may need to be implemented. They will either leave the property representative with information on the necessary corrective actions and/or follow up with a corrective action letter.
What if I’m out of compliance?
The Seattle Stormwater Code requires that all businesses implement and maintain source controls to prevent pollution from leaving the site, regardless of whether an inspection takes place. Seattle Public Utilities enforces these code requirements. If you do not complete the corrective actions by the deadline provided, SPU may utilize its enforcement program to gain compliance.