BMP and Stormwater Management Inspection Program

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Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP)

BMPs are control measures taken to address post-construction stormwater management changes from upstream land use changes, through various measures, techniques and structure controls. These BMPs are used to control and manage the quantity and improve the quality of the stormwater runoff discharging to them. All BMPs are put in place to mitigate the effects of upstream development by reducing the amount of runoff volume while improving the quality of the water that enters them. The ultimate goal of a BMP is to reduce or eliminate the amount of contaminants and pollutants that enter the City of Fairfax streams and eventually the Chesapeake Bay waters. Having BMPs in place and being well maintained annually is critical in achieving the water quantity requirements in accordance with the City of Fairfax Stormwater Ordinance and MS4 permit.

BMP Inspections and Maintenance

To comply with state regulations including our Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the City operates a Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP). The VSMP and MS4 permits are regulated and authorized by the federal Clean Water Act. It is the City's obligation to oversee these BMP and Stormwater Management facilities in order to comply with our state permit. 

Stormwater facilities remove pollutants from stormwater and prevent downstream flooding. In general, BMP and Stormwater Management facilities include constructed infiltration systems, detention facilities, specific landscaping elements like bio-retention systems, and various manufactured systems. All types of BMPs are designed to mitigate the effects of development by reducing runoff volume and rates while promoting the removal of pollutants and improving runoff quality. These BMPs are critical in achieving greater water quality in accordance with the City of Fairfax's Stormwater Management Ordinance and MS4 permit.

Although all BMP and Stormwater Management facilities are installed and constructed according to an engineered plan, these stormwater control facilities will not function correctly unless they are properly maintained. Pursuant to the BMP Maintenance and Monitoring Agreement, Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, or Site Plan governing the facilities throughout the City, it is responsibility of the owner(s) to maintain the facility in good working order. In turn, the City's role and responsibility is to assess annually such facilities to ensure proper maintenance is being performed in accordance with the suggested maintenance schedule for each facility. The maintenance agreement, Erosion and Sediment Control plan or Site Plan, provides the City of Fairfax with authority to conduct inspections of BMPs and Stormwater Management Facilities. 

The City will conduct a City-wide assessment to ensure all facilities are in working order on an annual basis. A representative from the City of authorized consultant will visit your property (or HOA property) to conduct an inspection of the stormwater control measures and BMPs in place.

The general inspection process is as follows:

  • The City will send out letters to all facility owners informing them of the inspections.
  • The City or authorized consultant will walk the facility, note the in-field conditions, take photos and then compare the field conditions to the original plans for the facility.
  • The City or authorized consultant will document the observed conditions of the relevant infrastructure and create an inspection report based on the facilities maintenance requirements.
  • Annual inspection reports will be sent out upon request, unless a deficiency is found. If a deficiency is found, a letter with further action items will be sent out to the owner of the facility.

The inspection and report are at no cost to the owner or HOA.

Recommended BMP or Stormwater Management Facilities Maintenance Helpful Links for Owners

Maintaining Stormwater Systems, A Guidebook for Private Owners and Operators in Northern Virginia

Virginia Stormwater BMP Clearinghouse

City of Fairfax BMP Agreement 

For more information or guidance on BMPs and Stormwater Management, contact the Department of Public Works at 703-385-7810 or email the Stormwater Resource Engineer .