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Stormwater Sampling, Visual Report, and Submit Samples to Laboratory

The Stormwater Sampling, Visual Report, and Submit Samples to Laboratory task is part of the Complyrs Industrial Stormwater Compliance program.

Industrial Stormwater ICON Stormwater Sampling

Introduction

Facilities covered by the Industrial General Permit (IGP) are required to conduct sampling to determine if stormwater contaminant concentrations exceed levels found on Table 2 in WQO2014-0057-DWQ. Additional steps will be required to maintain compliance with the IGP if a facility exceeds contaminant concentration levels (called Numeric Action Levels) found in Table 2.

A visual inspection report must be completed during sampling of a Qualifying Storm Event (QSE).

Industrial stormwater samples must be submitted to a certified laboratory. Please check the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program page on the State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) website for more information on certified laboratories.

Complyrpedia also has a PDF quick reference sampling guide: Complyrs QSE Sampling Guide.

Industrial Stormwater Sampling Requirements

Industrial stormwater samples must be taken from Qualifying Storm Events (QSE)

  • Event that produces a discharge from at least one drainage area.
  • Is preceded by 48 hours of no discharge from any drainage area.

Four industrial stormwater samples per year are required

  • From two QSEs that occur between July 1 and December 31.
  • From two QSEs that occur between January 1 and June 30.
  • If you are part of a Industrial Stormwater Compliance Group, sampling frequency may be reduced.

Industrial Stormwater sampling conditions

  • Samples must be taken within four hours of the start of discharge; or,
  • The start of facility operations if the QSE started within the prior 12 hours.
  • Sampling is only required during normal hours of operation.

What to sample for

  • Total suspended solids (TSS).
  • Oil and Grease (O&G).
  • pH.
  • Additional parameters identified by the Discharger’s SWPPP
  • Additional parameters listed in this table that correspond to the Dischargers SIC code:

Table 1. From WQO2014-0057-DWQ

Parameter Reference Table from WQO2014-0057-DWQ

Additional sampling and lab results may be required for:

Industrial Stormwater Sampling methodology

Sampling methodology is a complicated subject and beyond the scope of this article. Here are good resources to check.

WQO2014-005-DWQ, Attachment H, Sample Collection and Handling Instructions

EPA Industrial Stormwater Monitoring and Sampling Guide

Complyrs QSE Sampling Guide

QSE Visual Report

As per the Industrial General Permit (IGP).  If water quality samples are taken, visual monitoring and documentation of conditions during qualifying storm events are required.

QSE Visual Report Requirements

  • Record observations at the same time as samples.
  • Take visual observations for all samples taken from ponds or containments.
  • Sample and make visual observations of overflowing BMPs.
  • Observations need to include observations of floating trash, water cloudiness, sheen, slicks or any other apparent visible pollution.
  • Record any discharge locations not visually observed during a sampling event.
  • Explain all incomplete visual observations in the Annual Report.

Recording Qualifying Storm Event Visual Observations

A properly prepared Qualifying Storm Event Visual Report includes the following elements:

  • The date.
  • Approximate time.
  • Locations observed.
  • Presence and probable source of any observed pollutants.
  • Name of person(s) that conducted the observations.
  • Any response actions and/or additional SWPPP revisions necessary in response to the visual observations.

Retain records of facility visual observations for the duration of coverage under the IGP.

Sign up for Complyrs for access to free QSE Visual Report form.

Submit Industrial Stormwater Samples to Laboratory

As stated in the introduction, industrial stormwater samples must be submitted to a certified laboratory. Please check the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program page on the State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) website for more information on certified laboratories.

It is important to consult with the laboratory to arrange for sample testing ahead of time. Many samples require special containers with preservatives. In addition, the laboratory will provide instructions on taking samples. Samples have a shelf life of no more than 48 hours and cannot be kept indefinitely. Some samples will have even shorter retention times. Once again, consult with the laboratory ahead of time to make sure sampling is conducted properly.

Keep in mind, it does not rain often in many areas of California. The laboratory will be handling and processing samples from many other facilities after a Qualifying Storm Event (QSE). Organized sample collection procedures will improve the chances of getting usable laboratory results.

Additional information on sample collection and handling can be found in the Industrial General Permit (2014-0057-DWQ), Attachment H, Storm Water Sample Collection and Handling Instructions.

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