Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cost for Stormwater Monitoring - Managing Costs By Selecting Optimum Sampling Stategy

Many States now require dischargers to collect stormwater samples to demonstrate that their stormwater pollution prevention measures are effective. Samples are either visually examined on-site, or sent to a laboratory for chemical analysis. Either way – samples need to be collected.

Because in most States samples need to be collected within the first 30 minutes of discharge, stormwater monitoring presents some special challenges. To further complicate this requirement, rain events may also need meet specific requirements (i.e., 0.25 inch total rain fall, dry for previous 3 days, etc.). There are three basic options available to dischargers:

  1. Train Facility Staff to Collect Samples. In this case, a few staff are trained on how to collect and handle samples.
  2. Contract Third-party Sampler. Here, you would need to contract with a vendor who is located close enough to be at the site and ready to sample within 30 minutes of the start of a rain fall event.
  3. Buy or Lease Automated Sampling Equipment. In this case, equipment is installed at each outfall and samples are collected automatically when water begins to flow. In most cases, equipment would need to be installed by trained personnel.

Each of these options has its unique benefits and drawbacks. Using a third-party sampler has some logistically problems, as most facilities find it difficult to have someone on-site within 30 minutes, especially considering that the vendor may also be providing this service to others. Using automatic equipment eliminates this logistical problem; however, automated equipment tends to be more costly, and often needs to be reset after small rain events or if any other water gets inadvertently discharged to the storm sewer. Therefore many dischargers opt to train their own staff to collect samples, as it is the least expensive and most reliable method.

Caltha LLP assists companies in addressing their requirements under State and Federal stormwater rules, including Development of Stormwater Monitoring Plans and Training Facility Staff to Collect Stormwater Samples. Click here to request further information on Stormwater and SWPPP Services.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at
Caltha LLP Website

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