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Business source control survey

State and local governments want to learn about source control undertaken by small business owners to prevent pollutants from entering stormwater runoff.

This study surveyed small businesses across the region to identify the most common source control activities, practices, techniques, or devices. 

Study questions

  • What practices do businesses call best management practices (BMPs)?
  • Are these BMPs implemented widely and well?
  • What sectors of business do permittees focus on for inspection?
  • What difficulties are faced?

Study summary

This 2016 study — led by the City of Lakewood — gathered survey responses from NPDES stormwater permittees aimed to inform, refine, and improve the effectiveness of source control efforts.

What does the study tell us?

Information gathered in this study will help improve source control efforts by local governments and permit requirements for source control.

The project was based on survey results, responses from Phase I and II stormwater permittees, and input from Ecology's Local Source Control Partnership and the Urban Waters Initiative.

The survey focused on: 

  • The variation across municipalities on the optimum inspection frequency.
  • The extent and timeframes for follow-up needed for structural or operations BMPs to ensure business owners enact source control steps.
  • Other factors that make stormwater source control inspections effective.
  • Data collection gaps.

Study findings

Evaluating data collected under source control programs is necessary to learn from past efforts and improve future source control efforts, and identifying relevant questions is a vital starting point. A large database of over 47,300 records pertaining to municipal NPDES stormwater Phase I and II permit sections on source control was assembled with standardization of the records into comparable fields. 

Due to the limited but variable responses, alternative source control effectiveness questions were developed to better fit the response data available. 

The final report summarizes responses from Phase I and II permittees on:

  • Type of businesses
  • Frequency of inspections
  • Source control BMPs employed
Recommendations for municipal stormwater permittees, our permit writers, and future study questions are provided. 

Key project deliverables