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SWM Inspections

Stormwater Management (SWM) inspectors conduct maintenance inspections on SWM practices post-construction when the SWM practice was constructed as a requirement of a grading permit, and the permit has been completed for at least three years.

County Code requires county to perform preventative maintenance inspections of all stormwater management (SWM) facilities (structural practices, micro-scale practices, nonstructural practices, etc.) post-construction, at least on a triennial basis. These facilities are also referred to as SWM Best Management Practices (BMPs). Proper operation and upkeep of BMPs is essential to their ability to detain runoff and adequately remove pollutants from the stormwater. Proper maintenance will not only increase the expected lifespan of a BMP, but will also improve aesthetics and property value.
BMP regular inspection and maintenance, repair is the responsibility of the entity owning the BMP. Publicly owned BMPs are maintained by the County while privately owned BMPs typically are maintained by the property owner, HOA, or property manager.
I&P staff are responsible for inspecting BMPs, and SWM inspectors oversee triennial inspection of these BMPs to ensure compliance with the County Code, the County’s NPDES/MS4 permit, and state requirements. Each BMP is unique, and has an individual identification number (STORMID). BMPs can be constructed individually/separately, in parallel, or in series with multiple other facilities.
The types of inspections range from inspecting SWM ponds (wet ponds, dry ponds, stormwater wetlands, etc.), to microscale (micro bioretention, drywells, etc.), to small rain gardens and non-structural practices. And, they may be on industrial, commercial, retail, or residential (HOA-owned or privately-owned) properties.

What is a stormwater management (SWM) practice?
BMPs are designed to remove pollutants from stormwater runoff before reaching local waterways, and reduce stormwater flows. These BMPs may also be referred to as Environmental Site Design (ESD) features/practices, ponds, etc. The most common BMPs include rain gardens, impervious disconnection (rooftop and non-rooftop disconnection), bioretention areas, dry extended detention basins, wet detention basins, sand filters, bioswales/ grassed swales, and other proprietary devices.
How do I know if I have a BMP on my property, or know the type of BMP on my property?
Creating Link in HTML

Bureau of Watershed Protection and Restoration Watershed Application

  1. Find the Layer List in the upper right hand corner and select it;
  2. Select MS4 Stormwater BMPs;
  3. Check MS4 Stormwater BMPs.
There are also some indicators property owners can use to identify the presence of a BMP. The most common are: downspouts that drain to a landscaped feature or planter box; downspouts that connect into underground pipes; driveways constructed with permeable pavement; and/or a clean-out on the property not used for well/water or septic/sewer. The most common BMPs used on privately-owned residential properties are micro-drywells, raingardens, planter boxes, landscaped infiltration gardens, and permeable pavements, and rooftop and non-rooftop disconnection.
Who do I contact if I have questions regarding a BMP on my property or need additional help regarding BMPs?
For specific questions regarding stormwater management triennial maintenance inspections, please contact the Inspections and Permits by phone at (410) 222- 7767 or by email at [email protected]
What are the property owner responsibilities of every Stormwater BMP?
Property owner responsibilities for each BMP include perpetual maintenance, maintaining an adequate budget, repairs, and reconstruction when necessary. Please note that the County is required to inspect a BMP at least once every 3 years, and it is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure proper maintenance and upkeep of the BMPs. A general description of the responsibilities is provided below:
1. Perpetual Maintenance: Each BMP must be routinely maintained so that it continues to function as intended, to its designed capacity, and to ensure public safety. For more information, please visit the County website

BMP Maintenance
2. Inspections: Every BMP requires upkeep, maintenance, inspections and repair by the property owner/responsible party. The code requires triennial inspections of the County, in accordance with County Code, Article 16, Title 4 (SWM Ordinance), §16-4-303 and §16-4-401. In addition, each private property that has its own BMP(s) has a Stormwater Management Maintenance and Inspection Agreement (SWMA) recorded against the deed of the property during the planning process. The SWMA is inherited by the new property owner with each sale of the property, in perpetuity. Here is a link to a blank copy as an example:
Inspection and Maintenance Agreement

In multi-home subdivisions, a SWMA may be recorded for the entire subdivision, or each property may have its own. In the case of the former, each property owner is only responsible for the BMP(s) on their property.
The property owner shall maintain inspection records for every facility and supply them to the County every three (3) years or upon request.
I have additional questions on BMP maintenance. Where can I find this information?
Please review the County website for general maintenance information. The below maintenance guidance is intended to provide property owners with routine maintenance suggestions of BMPs they are responsible for, and not intended to replace professional maintenance and inspection of a BMP. Be sure to follow all manufacturer's recommendations where applicable.

BMP Maintenance

For additional information or if you have specific questions, you can also contact I&P staff at email [email protected] or phone number (410) 222-7767

What happens if a BMP fails inspection?
The SWM inspector will issue a Correction Notice by mail and/or email. The Correction Notice will specify the steps needed to complete the required corrections, and the property owner will have at least 30 days to comply. In some cases, the inspector may develop an agreed upon compliance schedule and completion date. Once a BMP passes inspection, or re-inspection, an In Compliance Notice is issued and a follow-up inspection will occur in 3 years.
What happens if a property owner does not comply with a Correction Notice?
Non-compliance with a Correction Notice will result in the issuance of a Non-Compliance Notice and violation letter via certified mail. The property owner will have at least 30 days to comply. A subsequent refusal to comply will result in a referral to the Anne Arundel County Office of Law for potential injunction, and may result in civil fines, penalties, and other enforcement actions as allowed by the County Code.
What happens if a property owner does not allow a County SWM inspector access to their property?
If a property owner denies a County SWM inspector access to their property, a notice will be sent giving the property owner at least 30 days to arrange a day and time to allow the inspector access to the property to complete the inspection. Should the property owner not respond or continue to refuse access, a Correction Notice will be issued, and the property owner will be given at least 30 days to respond. Continued non-response or denied access will result in a Non-Compliance Notice and Violation Letter, and the property owner will be given at least 30 days to respond. A fourth refusal will result in a referral to the Anne Arundel County Office of Law for potential injunction, and may result in civil fines, penalties, and other enforcement actions as allowed by the County Code.

Did You Know:
If you have a BMP, are required to install/reinstall a BMP, or wish to install one on your own, you may be eligible for tax credits as allowed by the code. Please visit the following links for more information:
Other Helpful Links:
parking lot


[email protected]


(410) 222-7171


2664 Riva Road Annapolis,
Maryland 21401