Maintenance: The permit is essentially a permit to construct. The ongoing protection of the waters of Gastonia is ensured through the proper care and maintenance for the systems as designed. Two of the most important parts of the permit application are the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) manual, and the O&M agreement. Before building permits will be issued by the City an O&M manual and agreement must be approved. Before COs will be issued, the BMP serving the site must be complete or bonded, and the O&M agreement executed.
O&M manual: For each structural BMP that is designed submitted and approved to manage the water quality and quantity leaving a site, there must be an O&M manual signed and sealed by the designing professional. This manual must contain at a minimum, a narrative description of the basic function of the BMP, the estimated life of each component of the BMP, a timetable for cleaning, testing and replacement for each component of the BMP, and a brief troubleshooting table for the various functions of the BMP. Designers are encouraged to use common terms, and sufficient drawings or details that their concepts are readily communicated to the general population of Gastonia.
O&M agreement: As indicated in § 14-740 of the ordinance, BMPs must be maintained, and cared for. They must continue to provide the level of service they were originally designed to provide, and they may not be allowed to become a nuisance. The O&M agreement will be a binding contract between the owners of property served by a BMP and the City. The agreement will guarantee performance on the part of the owner, and grant relief and compensation to the City in the event of failure. The intent of the agreement is the protection of the City in the event of failure to maintain on the part of the owner(s). The O&M agreement must include a statement granting the City the right to enter and maintain the BMP if necessary, and a statement releasing the City from any responsibility to maintain the BMP.
Escrow: In many cases, an Escrow account will be necessary for the preservation and control of appropriate funds to ensure proper maintenance of the BMPs. The escrow account shall be established so that the City will approve the withdrawal of funds, and if necessary, the City may unilaterally withdraw funds to make repairs as necessary. The account shall maintain sufficient funds (as determined by the Stormwater Administrator) to provide for major repairs. 75% of the cost of re-construction will be considered as a standard. The development of the Escrow can be pro-rated concurrent with a fixed build out schedule.
Records: The entity responsible for the maintenance of the BMP shall maintain the records of the maintenance for a period of five years after the maintenance is performed. These records shall be made available for inspection by the City after due notice.
Annual maintenance and inspection: Annually, not more than 30 days before the anniversary of the O&M agreement, the owner / responsible party shall submit an inspection report to the City on the form provided by the City. This report must be compiled by a person qualified (as listed in the ordinance) to perform these inspections.
Notice to Owners: Any property that is to be served by a runoff control BMP under the ordinance, must have deed restrictions that clearly indicate the location and nature of the BMP, reference to the O&M manual, and strict prohibitions against alteration of the BMP without approval from the City.