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Stormwater Maintenance

Culvert & Closed Storm Drain Program

The Bureau of Watershed Protection and Restoration is responsible for the inventory, inspection, and maintenance of the County’s culverts and closed storm drain systems. The Bureau of Highways Road Operations Division performs routine maintenance on these systems. The Infrastructure Management Division, inventories and inspects these systems via a programmed approach. There are approximately 85,000 components in the inventory at this time. These components include inlets, manholes, pipes, culverts and outfalls.

Projects larger in scope, such as rehabilitation or replacement efforts, are managed by the Bureau's Infrastructure Management Division and are accomplished with contractor forces using a “worst first” approach each fiscal year based on available funding from our Capital Budget Program.

Requests for storm drain system maintenance should be directed to the appropriate road district. Road districts are open from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. A supervisor will investigate your concern and respond to you within one week (one day if it is a hazard) to advise you of a schedule for the work. If the work needed to resolve your request is larger in scope, your request will be referred to the Infrastructure Management Division for prioritization. A representative from that division will keep you informed of the status of your request.

Drainage Construction

Protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries is one of our highest priorities. This activity helps us to accomplish this goal by completing necessary drainage construction work on County-maintained property, thereby controlling the flow of water and sediment into the bay. Work includes construction of new drainage systems including inlets, pipes headwalls, and/or placement of outfall protection. Occasionally, the work might also include replacement of major components of existing drainage systems, such as catch basins or gabion baskets.

Requests for the resolution of drainage problems should be directed to the appropriate road district. Road districts are open from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. A supervisor will investigate your concern and respond to you within one week (one day if it is a hazard) to advise you of a schedule for any needed work.

Stormwater Management Facilities

Stormwater Management Facilities, also known as Best Management Practices (BMP’s), generally fall into two categories: surface ponds or subterranean infiltration boxes.

The Bureau of Watershed Protection and Restoration currently manages the maintenance of approximately 700 County-owned stormwater facilities. These facilities generally serve single-family residential developments. Other BMP’s found in apartment and townhome complexes, industrial and business centers, or in developments under construction are privately maintained. For information on these facilities, please contact the Sediment and Erosion Control Office at (410) 222-7784.

Services provided on County-maintained BMP’s include mowing, inspection, and general maintenance of these devices. Maintenance is funded by both Operating and Capital Budget accounts.

BMP’s arrest pollutants that would otherwise be washed directly into streams during rain events. Their purpose is to help increase water quality in the watersheds they serve and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay. Maintenance is required to assure that each facility continues to perform according to its design and that they remain safe to the communities they serve. Six mowing cycles are scheduled on a routine basis between mid-April to early October. Recently, the Bureau of Watershed Protection and Restoration has also taken the responsibility of inspecting dams and related infrastructure that are a part of each BMP. Inspections are a requirement of the County's National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES) and will ultimately be used to determine and prioritize maintenance needs, as well as identify and project yearly budgetary program requirements. All work is accomplished through contracted vendors.

To report a problem with a County-maintained BMP, please call the Bureau of Watershed Protection and Restorations Infrastructure Management Division at (410) 222-7973 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Your request will be investigated within one week, and you will be notified of a schedule for resolution of the problem.

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