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Step 5 – Create a SWPPP

The Department of Ecology has provided a comprehensive and very easy to use SWPPP Template. Once you complete this form you will have a great start on your stormwater management. It has elements that are required for compliance, and is organized so you will have a master plan stormwater management. However, each facility is different so make sure your SWPPP has all the information to comply with the permit at your site.Here is an overview of the SWPPP sections and brief descriptions:

1. Facility Description and Contact Information
Who are you?
Where are you? (Lat/long)
Who’s on your stormwater team?
Site Map, including where your runoff goes, where you intend to take a sample of your runoff (more on this in the Sampling step) and areas of potential pollution. The template includes all the requirements for this visual guide to your facility

2. Facility Assessment
You’ve already gotten a jump start on this back in Step 3. This section of the SWPPP must include a description of your facility; an inventory of facility activities and equipment that contribute or have the potential to contribute any pollutants to stormwater; and, an inventory of materials that contribute to or have the potential to contribute pollutants to stormwater.

3. Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Best Management Practices are anything that you do, install, or build to prevent, eliminate, or treat stormwater pollution. There are some mandatory BMP’s listed in the permit, as well as those BMPs that are applicable to your industrial activities. These applicable BMPs can be found in the Department of Ecology Stormwater Management Manuals. When working on this section ask yourself how you will:

Control sources of pollution? Remember, it is far easier to prevent stormwater pollution than it is to try to get it out of the water later.
Eliminate sources of pollution?
Train your staff or implement stormwater awareness techniques?
Prevent and respond to spills?
Comply with the Mandatory BMPs?
Treat any polluted stormwater that you cannot otherwise control?

4. Sampling Plan
This permit requires you to take a sample of the runoff leaving your property on a quarterly basis. This is the time when you get to show all your hard work above has been effective. For this important step you will need to:

Identify the discharge location(s) – where does runoff leave your facility property? This could be a pipe from a catch basin, a ditch or sheet flow, or any combination of these.
Decide what pollutants you are required to sample for. You are required to sample your discharge for the following pollutants and ensure that they do not exceed the benchmarks.:

Turbidity (cloudiness of the water). 25 NTU
pH. Must be between 5 and 9
Oil sheen visible. Yes or no
Copper, total. Western WA: 14 ppb Eastern WA 32 ppb
Zinc, a total of 117 ppb

Depending on your industrial activities, you may have other pollutants that you must sample for. See the permit or SWPPP template for that information.

Contact an accredited laboratory for help with collection bottles, holding times, etc. The list of approved labs can be found on the Washington Dept. of Ecology’s website.

More information on sampling, reporting, and what to do if your runoff is above the allowed pollutant levels can be found in the following steps.



Employee Training

Blank Spill Plan

Spill Kit Content Example

Monthly Site Inspection Form

SWPPP Certification Form

SWPPP Template