When do I have to install temporary best management practices (BMPs) on my construction site?

Are you planning to start construction activities soon and trying to determine when BMPs need to be installed on your construction project? During construction, the potential for pollutants from construction-related activities to be carried off site in stormwater can be reduced if appropriate BMPs are implemented. With ground disturbing activities occurring, and various construction-related materials and equipment being used and stored during construction, implementing BMPs is needed to minimize stormwater pollution.

Planning and proper installation of BMPs is required prior to the start of construction activity and on-going BMP implementation during construction activity is needed to minimize the pollutants from leaving a construction site in stormwater. Properly planning your construction activity that involves ground disturbing activities includes:

  1. considering the types of activities that will occur on your project;
  2. identifying the waterbody and/or separate storm sewer system receiving stormwater from your project;
  3. determining the time of year and duration of time construction activities will occur;
  4. developing a schedule to include phasing the ground disturbing activities;
  5. conducting training for site personnel;
  6. developing a BMP plan (i.e. stormwater pollution prevention plan) to reduce erosion and minimize water pollutants leaving the construction site; and
  7. obtaining required permits.

In addition to planning, the following activities should occur for construction projects with ground disturbing activities:

  • Install BMPs and ensure they are functioning prior to initiating any ground disturbing activities.
  • Conduct routine inspections of temporary BMPs.
  • Perform maintenance and repair of temporary BMPs routinely and as needed.
  • Modify and revise the BMP plan to reflect current site conditions.

It is important to understand that BMPs need to be installed prior to the start of ground disturbing activities. While some BMPs may need to be installed immediately, others may not be required until a new phase of construction begins where ground disturbing activities will occur. Additionally, installed BMPs often need to be modified or replaced because they are failing or ineffective. If this occurs, changes should be reflected in your BMP plan. Lastly, BMPs should not be removed until ground disturbing activities are completed and proper stabilization has occurred.

Remember… Always install BMPs before the start of ground disturbing activities and BMPs should be modified as needed to adapt to changing site conditions!