Keeping Sediment, Trash, And Debris Out Of Your Storm Drains

Picking the right stormwater BMP for sediment, trash and debris reduction in your storm drains can be difficult.

What should I do to keep sediment, trash, and debris out of my storm drains? We have received this question enough that I felt compelled to put out a post for others, who probably have the same issue. While I will almost always  tell facilities to double-triple-quadruple down on housekeeping, inspections, sweeping, and storm drain clean out, that is often not enough. Depending on the type of your stormwater collection system, you as a facility manager or EHS staff need some other tools. Below are some tools (BMPs) for trench drains and catch basins for minimizing the amount of sediment, trash, and debris entering your stormwater system.

Trench Drain Inserts and BMPs

For trench drains, I usually use mesh or filter fabric. Usually fine stainless steel mesh is good – your maintenance group may be able to recommend some that they use or already have. If you want another type of structural stormwater control measure (or BMP) for your trench drains you may want to look at these products

Catch Basin Inserts

For catch basins, there are many options from temporary storm drain inserts (e.g. witches hat or filter fabric) to more permanent ones (see below). For some options of permanent ones:

Things to Consider

When selecting the perfect BMP, much like the perfect car, there are many important considerations. Things like leather vs fabric seats for wearing hip waders or volume of trunk for sample coolers. For your BMPs, I would be looking at the following:

  • Cost
  • Installation – time, difficulty, and third-party or myself
  • Drain size and flow rates
  • Sample access (or lack thereof)
  • Maintenance cost & time
Other pollutants (e.g. metals removal – copper or zinc)

Please note: 

I don’t endorse any of these, just ones I have seen in action or come across before. I also have seen some great mesh filters and inserts that were crafted by facility staff themselves. If you have some skills, materials, and a gung-ho attitude you too can be a BMP manufacturer.

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