Maintenance of stormwater Manufactured Treatments Devices (MTDs) is fundamental to the success of your Best Management Practices (BMP) plan. The good news is that effective stormwater filtration device maintenance is not difficult to do, and not difficult to teach. It is, however, critically important that if the work is done “in-house” by an employee, that the employee is not only properly trained, but understands what is at stake for the company in terms of compliance, perception of neighbors, workplace pride, safety and other considerations. This excerpt from the EPA’s NPDES website sums up the scope of an otherwise straightforward, but mission critical activity:

“All stormwater management systems, whether gray or green, require maintenance. Appropriate operation and maintenance activities ensure that stormwater practices will continue to function properly and yield expected water quality and environmental benefits, protect public safety, meet legal standards, and protect communities’ financial investment.”

If you choose to work with a stormwater filtration MTD maintenance contractor, Be sure that your contractor is ATT (Alternative Treatment Technologies) and O&M (Operations and Maintenance) certified. Ideally, your contractor will have experience maintaining the devices currently installed at your facility, and have a long lasting and close working relationship with the manufacturer of those devices. In the Northwest, CleanWay has worked with River City Environmental, Inc. for many years. To view the full scope of River City’s stormwater services, you can click through to that section of their website here. If you are outside of the northwest, River City is a good example of the kind of company you want to work with. It’s important to note that your stormwater filtration MTDs are named in your Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), so your maintenance logs should name the manufacturer, and the type of MTD (catch basin, curb inlet, downspout, etc.) used at each facility location. Maintenance should include keeping a log of the amount of sediment collected and the date of removal.

“We work with industrial stormwater permit holders, in addition to engineering and environmental consulting firms, in all 50 states. If you have a question about stormwater filtration maintenance, we welcome the opportunity to speak to you, even if you’re not currently a CleanWay customer. Our highly credentialed staff has almost a century of stormwater management and filtration experience and we’re here to help.”

Matthew Moulton, General Manager – CleanWay Environmental Partners


Assigning a trusted employee to perform stormwater filtration device (MTD) maintenance is a great opportunity for that employee to learn about an important, but often invisible aspect of facility operation, contribute to the company and position themselves for greater responsibility through exemplary performance. At CleanWay, we’ve gone to great lengths to make maintenance of our stormwater filtration systems simple and easy for one person. Proper maintenance ensures compliance, makes the facility look better, smell better and engenders a sense of pride in ownership and workmanship. It also makes for a good neighbor, which is an important consideration. Employee awareness of the “big picture” should impress upon them the importance of the task they’re assigned. Naturally, it’s up to management to decide how much information to share, but it may be useful to share with your dedicated maintenance employee or team the purpose and requirements of the applicable NPDES parameters, an overview of your SWPPP and your BMP so they understand how their assignments fit into overall compliance. When it comes to training, CleanWay provides materials lists for each of our filtration devices, and we have a series of videos on our stormwater filtration device maintenance. To view the videos on our website, please click here.


We recommend monthly inspections, which are required for most permit holders. Visual inspections provide the clues so you know when it’s time for maintenance:

• The strainer insert is dirty and debris has accumulated in the strainer

• The water level in the strainer rises above normal levels—which is seen during rain events

• Water sampling shows water quality decay or degradation

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Cleaning your CleanWay catch basin can be done with a Vactor® truck or manually, completed by one person.

• First, remove the grate to access the catch basin

• Second, remove the strainer using the handle. Empty and clean the strainer in an approved receptacle. 

To perform maintenance on the filter element, a Vactor truck, vacuum truck street sweeper or large shop vac can all be used to remove accumulated pollutants and debris. Once the pollutants are removed, dispose the used filter element and install a new replacement element. Re-install the cleaned ridged strainer and place the grate back over the complete filter assembly taking care not to damage the gasket or dislodge the sample port plug. Check with your local disposal company for the best disposal options of accumulated pollutants.


We recommend installing a new Filtration Fabric element at the start of your rainy season. For example, a new element in the northwest is installed in early October. Once the leaves have fallen around the end of November, we replace the element again. This second element may last through the remainder of the rainy season. The life of the filter element depends on the condition of the pavement, volume and type of traffic, the area of pavement that the filter serves and the weather conditions. To perform at its best, the filter element should be replaced regularly if exposed to oily grit. Filtration Fabric elements are very inexpensive and easy to replace. Simple visual inspection of the filters on a monthly basis is all that is usually required to determine if the element needs to be replaced. We encourage replacing the element at the first indication it’s becoming clogged. To view our high-efficiency filtration element options, please click here.

With over 25 years of experience, CleanWay Environmental Partners is dedicated to providing clients with affordable stormwater runoff solutions. Located in Portland, OR, our skilled staff is committed to serving customers nationwide with first-rate catch basin filters, downspout filtration units, premium leachate treatments, and heavy metals extraction products. Call (800) 723-1373 to request a quote and to learn more about how we can help you comply with environmental regulations.