How to Maintain Your Stormwater Control Devices

News posted Jun. 01, 2017 - 6:00 am
SCM Device

Do you have a Stormwater Control Measure (SCM) device on your property or in your community? Here’s what you need to know about SCM devices and their maintenance:

There are more than 1,800 SCM devices located on both public and private property throughout the City of Raleigh. These devices manage stormwater runoff to help reduce flooding and keep pollution out of streams and lakes. Each device, like bioretention, wet ponds, wetlands, and dry ponds, require regular maintenance.

When to Mow Around Your Device
Large SCM devices often have embankment slopes or earthen berms that surround the device. Typically, these slopes should be mowed regularly and all woody vegetation (i.e. trees and shrubs) should be removed. Specific requirements may be set if vegetation around a device acts as a safety or wildlife barrier or as a water quality function.

Unclogging Your Device
Many devices have a control structure made of brick, pipe, or concrete that serves as a stormwater outlet. These structures can become clogged with leaf debris, dense vegetation, or trash, and need to be checked regularly and cleared. This is particularly important after rain events to confirm that the device is dewatering, or draining, and functioning as designed.

Be sure to reference the site-specific operations and maintenance (O&M) manual for the SCM device and submit the required annual inspection to show that the device is being maintained and functioning as intended. For more information about required SCM maintenance, contact the Stormwater Management Division at 919-996-3940 or

Three Benefits to Maintaining an SCM Device

  • Aesthetic appeal to a property's landscaping
  • Reduced presence of unsightly nuisances, like invasive plants or mosquitoes
  • Effective stormwater management tool to preserve
  • Raleigh's waterways and ensure public safety
This article was originally printed in the Stormwater Management Division's Urban Watersheds publication. Subscribe to learn more and to receive stormwater-related news.

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