Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) Inspection

stormwater filtration examples

Properly constructed and maintained BMPs are critical in achieving greater water quality for our community as a whole.

Post-construction stormwater management is typically accomplished through stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs). These BMPs include constructed stormwater infiltration systems, bioretention systems, stormwater detention facilities, or various manufactured systems. More common names are rain gardens, bioretention, sand filters, detention basins and infiltration systems.

Bioretention systems use vegetation, such as trees, shrubs, and grasses, to remove pollutants from stormwater runoff. Sources of runoff are diverted into the bioretention systems directly through a stormwater drainage system.

bioretention pond

rain garden example

A rain garden is a depression that collects stormwater runoff from a roof, driveway or yard and allows it to infiltrate into the ground. Rain gardens are typically planted with shrubs and perennials (native plants).

All types of BMPs are designed to mitigate the effects of development by reducing stormwater runoff volume and rates while promoting removal of pollutants and improving runoff quality.

Below are links to inspection forms, ordinances and regulations and examples of BMPs. Per city ordinance BMP owners are required to submit inspections and maintenance records to the City of Columbia Stormwater Utility staff member by November 15th, of each year.

The requirements of this BMP ordinance are compulsory under our MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer) permit from the EPA. *National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) – Post-Construction Controls. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.

Under the stormwater Phase II rule, owners and operators of small municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) facilities are responsible for implementing BMP inspection and maintenance programs and having penalties in place to deter infractions. All stormwater BMPs should be inspected on a regular basis for continued effectiveness and structural integrity.

Requirements of BMP owners under ordinance 12A-95

  • A yearly BMP inspection is required per City Ordinance 12A-95Maintenance and repair of stormwater facilities.”
  • Per city ordinance the BMP owner is required to submit inspection form(s) and maintenance log to the City for each BMP facility by November 15th, annually.
  • Stormwater control measures or BMPs must be properly and regularly maintained to function correctly. It is the responsibility of the owner(s) to maintain BMPs in good working order.
  • During each inspection, the inspector should document whether the BMP is performing correctly, if the BMP has been damaged since the last inspection, and, if so, indicate what will be done to repair it.
  • In the case of vegetative or other infiltration BMPs, inspection of stormwater management practices following a storm event should occur after the expected drawdown period for a given BMP. This allows the inspector to see whether detention and infiltration devices are draining correctly.
  • An inspection form(s) has been developed for use by BMP inspector(s) (see forms below). The provided form(s) will help the inspector determine renovation or repair needs.
  • A knowledgeable and qualified person or company may perform maintenance and inspection of the BMP facilities. It is recommended that a registered civil engineer or landscape architect perform the inspection.
  • A landscaping or property maintenance company with BMP experience may have the expertise to perform the inspection and/or maintenance.
  • It is important that routine maintenance and non-routine repair of stormwater BMPs be done according to a schedule or as soon as a problem is discovered. Because many BMPs are rendered ineffective for runoff control if not installed and maintained properly, it is essential that maintenance schedules are maintained and repairs made promptly.
  • Please include a picture(s) of the BMP along with the inspection form and maintenance records and send them by e-mail or postage (see email and postal address below).

Step 1: Download your BMP inspection form(s)

Step 2: Download the Maintenance Log Sheet 

Step 3: Take current picture(s) of BMP

Step 4: Send BMP Inspection Form(s), Maintenance Log Sheet and Picture/s to:

Preferred Method By Email:

Snail Mail: Stormwater Utility – W.W.T.P
City of Columbia Missouri
P.O. Box 6015
Columbia, MO 65205-6015

Attention: T.J. Tiefenbrunn


Inspection and checklist form(s) by BMP type:




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