Survey: Majority of industrial facilities lack stormwater management protocol

Most of industrial facilities do not adhere to a proper stormwater management protocol, according to a Stormwater Management Survey, released by New Pig Corporation, a provider of products to control leaks, drips and spills.

This survey looks at how well businesses understand the problems presented by contaminated stormwater discharge and the strategies used to mitigate the issue.

The survey polled more than 300 individuals from government, and manufacturing, repair, automotive, transportation and construction industries.

New Pig senior product developer Matt Riley said: “In designing our products, we’re on the front lines of stormwater management every day — talking with customers, product users, industry leaders.

“Based on these discussions, we knew facilities understood that storm drains present an ongoing risk for contamination, but suspected they are also not taking the necessary actions to resolve the problem.”

Since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1977, the EPA, states and local communities have used regulations to pressurise industries to clean stormwater discharge.

Industries are also required to create Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP) before they can receive National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.

For non-compliance, industries can face fines ranging from $2,500 (S$3404.25) to $25,000 (S$34,042.50) per day. In extreme cases, industries may even be slapped with lawsuits and their officials imprisoned.

Even though risks are well known, New Pig’s survey revealed that many facilities lack the expertise, resources and products to manage stormwater discharge.

The survey found that companies are not proactive as 36 per cent of the respondents said they only maintain, replace or check their stormwater products if there is a problem”.  Less than half of participants check their products monthly and 10 per cent of the respondents check after every storm at recommended intervals.

Only 54 per cent of participants said they have a dedicated water or stormwater management employee, with 52 per cent claiming to have an active SWPPP.

Additionally, in facilities where no employees are focused on water or stormwater management, 4 per cent considered their organisation’s level of knowledge as “expert”, while 53 per cent found that was to be “novice.”

Among the participants that use stormwater pollution prevention products, 57 per cent use them at high-risk drains only, and several leaving critical areas at risk.

Riley said: “After evaluating the survey’s findings, we know that companies are at least aware of the risks that stormwater pollutants pose to the environment and their bottom line, but are not doing enough to protect their drains.

“At the very minimum, industry leaders need to understand that even if you have one drain you’re at risk for a stormwater violation — a costly reality that is easily avoidable.”