TOWNSHIP TIDBIT:

Any road name with “pike” (Swamp Pike, Germantown Pike, Gravel Pike) was at one time a toll road.

INFORMATION

Stormwater BMP Inspection Program


Stormwater BMP Inspection Program

Property owners who requested to opt into self-inspections for the Stormwater BMP Inspection Program must submit their surveys by Friday, May 31.  Click here for step by step instructions for completing the BMP self-inspection (these are the materials that were presented at the educational session on April 4th).

The survey can be completed through your internet browser by clicking on this BMP Self Inspection Survey link or you can download the ‘ArcGIS Survey123’ app onto your mobile device and then within the app, you can scan the following QR code to open the survey. Please click on the step by step instructions above for further details. 

Survey QR Code

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All properties with a stormwater management facility, or a “BMP” (Best Management Practice), shall be responsible for inspecting the facility on a regular basis. Stormwater management facilities fall under two categories: Post-Construction Stormwater Management (PCSM) BMPs and individual on-lot BMPs. PCSM BMPs refer to stormwater facilities that were installed as part of an approved land development plan, and are required to be inspected annually. Individual on-lot BMPs refer to stormwater facilities that were installed on an individualized basis (e.g. resulting from the construction of a new house, or construction of some other improvement like a pool or detached structure that added more than 1,000 square feet of regulated impervious cover), and are required to be inspected at a frequency identified in the Operations & Maintenance Agreement for that property. This is typically once per year for the first five years, and then at least once every three years thereafter.

Property owners shall ensure that the BMPs located on their properties are properly maintained at all times. The purpose of the inspection program is to verify that proper maintenance is being performed and that the BMP is functioning properly. Starting in 2024, the Township is offering two ways of completing the required inspection: engineer inspections, and self-inspections.

  • Engineer Inspections
    • The Township Engineer will perform an inspection of the BMP(s) on a property and provide a written report of the inspection. Photographs will be taken of the BMP. Inspections will occur over a period of about three to four weeks, from the end of April through mid-May.
    • The property owner will receive a copy of the inspection report, once completed, along with a letter to either verify the BMP is in compliance, or to note if any violations were identified during the inspection.
    • If violations were identified during the inspection, the letter will explain what those violations are and outline what the remediation steps will be. Remediation steps will be tailored to the violations identified. For minor violations, remediation will require the violations be addressed prior to the following year’s inspection. For more significant violations, remediation will be required immediately and may require a follow-up inspection during the same year.
    • Property owners will be billed for the cost of the inspection based on the hourly engineering fees outlined in the Township’s Fee Schedule.
  • Self-inspections
    • Property owners must meet the deadlines to opt into the self-inspection program for every inspection year. Completion of a self-inspection one year does not automatically guarantee enrollment in self-inspection for future years.
    • Property owners will complete a self-inspection on forms provided by the Township. All forms and other educational materials will be posted on the Township website and will be made available to property owners upon approval of the self-inspection opt in request. An option will be made available for property owners to complete the self-inspection using a web-based online submission form. If a property owner is not able to utilize the web-based form, hard copies of the inspection form will be made available. Photographs are required to be submitted with the inspection form.
    • All forms must be filled out completely and submitted by the deadline. No fees are required to submit a self-inspection. Failure to submit a completed self-inspection form will result in the BMP being inspected by the Township Engineer and subject to the inspection fee.
    • Upon receipt of a completed self-inspection form, the Township Engineer will review the submission and the property owner will be sent a letter to either verify the BMP is in compliance, or to note if any violations were identified during the inspection.
    • If violations were identified during the review of the submitted inspection report, the letter will explain what those violations are and outline what the remediation steps will be. Remediation steps will be tailored to the violations identified. For minor violations, remediation will require the violations be addressed prior to the following year’s inspection. For more significant violations, remediation will be required immediately and may require a follow-up self-inspection or engineer inspection during the same year. If significant violations are identified, the property owner may be responsible for engineering fees associated with the review of their inspection form, and the Township may require the Engineer perform a follow-up inspection.
For more information about the program and additional resources for property owners, please visit the Story Map.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is my BMP being inspected this year?

The Township tracks all of the properties that have a stormwater BMP. If the BMP on your property falls under the PCSM category of stormwater facilities, an annual inspection is required. If the BMP on your property falls under the individual on-lot category, inspections are required for the first five years after installation, after which the frequency of inspection may be reduced to once every three years. If violations are found on a property, an inspection will be required either within the same inspection year, or the following year.

What is included as part of the inspection?

A visual inspection will be performed to verify all components are present and functioning properly. The inspection form will include general questions to identify your property, BMP type, and weather conditions the day of the inspection, as well as more specific questions to answer regarding your BMP. These include, but are not limited to, the presence/absence of certain features, the condition of the lawn and/or vegetation in or around the BMP, and the condition of the physical infrastructure like an outlet, inlet, outfall, level spreader, etc. Photographs are a required component of the inspection to support the reported conditions.

Where can I find a copy of my stormwater plans?

All stormwater plans and Operations & Maintenance Agreements are available for digital viewing on the Township’s GIS Portal. Under the “layers” tab, turn on the “PCSM BMPs” and “LT1AC BMPs” layers; you will see pink and yellow stars on the map. Type in your address into the address search bar and select the star icon for your property. In the pop-up tab, you will see a link to your plan and O&M Agreement. You may also request a copy from the Township, or stop by the Township building in person to view your files.

Alternatively, you can visit the Story Map and search for your property address under the “BMP Property Search” tab.

Where can I find more information about the program and completing a self-inspection?

The Township held an optional educational session on Thursday April 4, 2024 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Information was provided on how to complete the inspection form.

Click here for the step by step instructions for completing the BMP self-inspection that were presented at the educational session on April 4th.

Are there any limitations for when an inspection can be completed following rainfall?

Self-inspections may not be completed within 72 hours (3 days) of a rain event. This has to do with the design function of stormwater facilities; they are not supposed to hold water beyond 72 hours which is only verifiable when it hasn’t rained in at least that amount of time. Please note that if your BMP type is a downspout, though, it is fine to complete the self-inspection of a downspout at any point, regardless of rainfall.

I opted into the self-inspection for this year. Am I automatically enrolled into performing a self-inspection for next year?

No. Opting into performing a self-inspection only applies to that program year and does not carry over into future program years. Property owners will be notified on an annual basis of the upcoming inspection program, and property owners will need to opt in each year.

What if I miss the deadline to opt into the self-inspection option?

Your BMP will automatically be inspected by the Township’s engineer, and subject to the inspection fees. The 2024 deadline to opt into a self-inspection is April 21, 2024. All requests to opt into a self-inspection must be submitted in writing, either by email to SWM@newhanover-pa.org or by mail to SWM Coordinator, 2943 N Charlotte Street, Gilbertsville, PA 19525.

What if I miss the deadline to submit my self-inspection form?

Your BMP will automatically be inspected by the Township’s engineer, and subject to the inspection fees. The 2024 deadline to submit your COMPLETED self-inspection form is May 31, 2024. If your submission is considered incomplete, is missing required information, or is otherwise not sufficient, the Township will notify you, and you must correct any noted deficiencies by the deadline.

What are the fees for a Township inspection versus a self-inspection?

For all BMPs inspected by the Township Engineer, fees will be assessed based on the hourly rate of the engineer to account for the time and materials utilized for the inspection and report generation. An invoice will be sent to the property owner for payment.

For all properties inspected by the property owner, no fees will be due up front. Provided the inspection report does not indicate any violations, no fees will be charged for the engineering review. However, if violations are found to be present that would require more significant remediation, the Township may require its engineer to perform a more detailed review and/or follow-up inspection, and fees may be assessed at that time.

What permission does the Township have to enter private property to perform these inspections?

All properties with BMPs have an Operations & Maintenance Agreement, either as a separate standalone document recorded at the County Recorder of Deeds, or as part of the approved land development plan, which gives the legal right for the Township to enter onto property for the purposes of conducting inspections. Inspections will be scheduled on a rolling basis from the end of April through May. The inspector will knock on your door to announce him/herself before entering the property. If you wish to be present for the inspection, please contact the Township to formally request accommodation. The engineer will try to accommodate requests for coordination if feasible.

What happens after the inspection is performed?

Regardless if the inspection is performed by the Township Engineer or by the property owner, the Township will issue a letter with a copy of the inspection report for the property owner to retain for their files. The letter will indicate if the BMP is in compliance or not, and if not, will include next steps for correcting any violations noted during the inspection. All self-inspections are subject to review by the Township engineer. You will be notified if the Township requires any additional information, photographs, or clarification on the submitted inspection form.

What if a violation is found during my inspection?

For an inspection performed by the Township Engineer: If violations were identified during the inspection, the follow-up letter will explain what those violations are and outline what the remediation steps will be. Remediation steps will be tailored to the violations identified. For minor violations, remediation will require the violations be addressed prior to the following year’s inspection. For more significant violations, remediation will be required immediately and may require a follow-up inspection during the same year. Any additional inspections will be subject to a fee as outlined in the Fee Schedule.

For a self-inspection: If violations were identified by the property owner, or violations were identified by the engineer reviewing the self-inspection form submitted, the follow-up letter will explain what those violations are and outline what the remediation steps will be. Remediation steps will be tailored to the violations identified. For minor violations, remediation will require the violations be addressed prior to the following year’s inspection. For more significant violations, remediation will be required immediately and may require a follow-up self-inspection or engineer inspection during the same year. If significant violations are identified, the Township may require the Engineer perform a follow-up inspection and the property owner may be responsible for engineering fees associated with the review and/or inspection.

What if my last inspection in 2022 indicated there was a violation present with my BMP?

The Township Engineer will evaluate any previous years’ inspections and verify that the BMP has been brought into compliance with any noted corrective action. For self-inspections, the property owner shall be responsible to demonstrate that any previously noted violations have been corrected.