Stormwater Management and School Districts: A Lesson in Planning
Thirty-seven K-14 school districts across Southern California currently comprise the Facilities Joint Powers Authority, Storm Water Consortium, a collaboration led by the San Diego County Office of Education. Since 2003, the group has been working to voluntarily implement effective Storm Water Management Plans in an effort to stay abreast of regulatory pressures. With designation under the Phase II Permit potentially on the not-too-distant horizon, thirteen years of experience running storm water programs serves to both prepare school districts for future designation, and provide valuable experience that can help shape the guidelines of an effective and reasonable permitted program for school districts.
Member School Districts vary greatly in size, density, and affluence, however face similar challenges including limited resources, aging infrastructure, and political culture. Group membership has provided a consistent support network for school districts, allowing the fluid sharing of educational resources, maintenance techniques, planning and documentation tools, and pollutant reduction methods. Annual group-wide training sessions provide both BMP implementation instruction as well as apprising school districts of the current and upcoming regulatory trends. Annual facility visits at each District reinforce storm water training, bring personnel new to the program up to speed, and help to identify and prioritize potential improvement projects. Working collaboratively, districts are able to streamline reporting and other requirements, and build upon the experiences of other group members to build a program that best suits their unique operations.
Based on an analysis of group progress, the key successes and struggles of group members will be presented. The remainder of the presentation will then utilize case studies as examples of effective facility maintenance BMP implementation, educational programs, and data tracking methods that together comprise a cache of resources for districts to draw from as they tailor their approach to Storm Water Management.