City of Surprise Water Services
City of Surprise Water Services

Construction Site Requirements

   Introduction

Construction Site Requirements

Storm water pollution sources are not always directly related to chemicals. Although construction sites use chemicals such as paints, solvents and fuels; a significant storm water contaminant common to construction sites results from poor silt and sediment containment. Heavy concentrations of sediments can clog catch basins which can cause localized flooding of streets, and impact retention basins and drywells decreasing their ability to infiltrate water into the ground. Additionally, sediment loading to our washes and rivers can contribute to the destruction of plant and wildlife habitats.

» History

In 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage for storm water discharges from construction activities that disturbed five (5) or more acres of land. In December 2003, this requirement was added to small construction activities. Small construction activities, as defined by the EPA, are those “that result in a land disturbance equal to or greater than 1 acre and less than 5 acres.” Also regulated as small construction activities are those “disturbing less than 1 acre…if they are part of a larger common plan of development or sale with a planned disturbance equal to or greater than one acre and less than five acres.”

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has been designated the Permitting Authority for the State of Arizona for issuing Construction General Permits (CGP) under the Arizona Pollution Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) program. The operator(s) must comply with all requirements outlined in the CGP as prepared by ADEQ. Required documents for obtaining a CGP permit include a Notice of Intent (NOI) form, and the development of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) detailing the best management practices (BMPs) to be implemented for site sediment and pollution control. The ADEQ has created a Smart NOI program which allows for completion and submittal of the NOI form over the internet. Once a construction project is complete and the project's disturbed area is stabilized to at least 70 percent of natural background levels, or responsibility for the project has been assumed by another operator; a Notice of Termination (NOT) must be submitted to end participation in the AZPDES storm water program.

» City of Surprise AZPDES Requirements

In general, the construction site runoff control measures that the City of Surprise must meet under the Arizona National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES) permit are as follows:

  • Develop, implement, and enforce a program to reduce pollutants in any storm water runoff to our MS4 from small and large construction activities.

  • Review all site plans for small and large construction sites for potential water quality impacts and verify in writing that the BMPs suggested are appropriate for the site.

  • Develop and implement procedures for site inspection and enforcement of BMP implementation and measure of effectiveness.

  • Develop a local ordinance requiring construction site operators to incorporate necessary BMPs in order to maintain water quality.

    The construction site ordinance may require any or all of the following:

  • Submittal of copies of SWPPPs with all associated site plans, NOI and NOT forms, and updates detailing any changes or alterations to the SWPPPs as necessary.

  • Written verification from the City of the acceptance of pollution control BMPs for construction sites.

  • Penalties for violations related to inadequate sediment and pollution control, including inadequate BMP implementation and maintenance.

» Current City Construction Site Submittal Requirements

Currently, the ADEQ’s GCP requires that the operator forward a copy of the completed NOI to the owner/operator of the MS4 if the facility has the potential to discharge to the MS4. Since city-owned and maintained streets constitute a significant portion of the City of Surprise storm water conveyance system, it is expected that the majority of construction sites will need to submit copies of all required documents to the city.
Currently, the City of Surprise’s Engineering Development Standards requires the applicant to address NPDES permit considerations and issues, including SWPPP Guidance and first flush considerations for onsite detention.

NOTE: Submittal of the NOI, SWPPP, and NOT to the City of Surprise does not negate or replace the operator’s submittal requirements to the ADEQ or EPA.

» Additional Information

The following webpages provide additional information and guidance for construction site owners/operators.

        EPA SWPPP Development Guidance

        EPA SWPPP Checklist

        ADEQ SWPPP Checklist

        AZPDES Construction General Permit


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Surprise, Arizona 85374


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