Maintaining My Structural BMP Newsletter

county of san diego watershed protection program

Rain!? I Won’t Let That Stop My Structural BMP from Operating Effectively!

How can you tell what is a structural BMP?

Structural Best Management Practices (BMPs) are devices designed to help treat stormwater runoff from developed properties. Rain gardens, ditches, and depressions that you see every day around your neighborhood and even on your property could be purposefully placed there as a structural BMP to reduce flooding and improve water quality. When these Structural BMPs do not function properly, rain that falls on your property can go into the storm drains and carry pollutants such as trash, fertilizers, pesticides, and sediment to local creeks, rivers, and the ocean.

What could impact structural BMP effectiveness?

Structural BMP effectiveness could be reduced for the following reasons:

  • Trash, debris, sediment, and organic material (leaves, trees) build-up
  • Overgrown vegetation
  • Damage to the structural BMP

Why is it important to make sure that my structural BMP operates effectively?

Even if there is not a river or lake near you, stormwater runoff coming from your property can harm our waterways, wildlife, and other valuable resources. An effectively operating, structural BMP is important because it could prevent pollutants from running off your property, going into the street, and entering the storm drain system untreated.

What can I do to maintain my structural BMP?

Be safe while taking the following actions to make sure that you and your structural BMP are ready for the rain:

  • Remove vegetation overgrowth
  • Keep your BMPs free of trash, debris, sediment, and organic material
  • Replace damaged BMP components

These tips are only several of many actions you can take year-round and after each rain event to ensure your structural BMP is operating effectively.

Poorly maintained BMP

Above: Photo of a poorly maintained, structural BMP (inlet basket) filled with trash and organic material

Different types of structural BMPs may require different maintenance methods. The following lists the different types of structural BMPs that may be on your property with links to learn more about how you can properly maintain them:

Remember to submit documentation of your inspection findings and maintenance activities every year- or a County inspector may be required to conduct a follow-up inspection or initiate an enforcement investigation.

Properly used BMP

Above: Photo of a properly maintained, vegetated BMP

Where can I learn more about structural BMPs?

To find out more about structural BMPs or annual structural BMP maintenance verification, please visit and click on the “Maintaining My Structural BMP” icon.

Contact us at if you have any questions regarding BMPs on your property.


Find My District


Report Stormwater Pollution
Report observed pollution to the correct jurisdiction.

Citizen Access Portal
Research property information and permits. Apply for some permits online.

GIS Maps
Find property information including zoning designation with our web-based mapping tool. 

Watershed Protection Website


project clean water

Project Clean Water efforts are focused on providing a centralized point of access to water quality information and resources for San Diego County Watersheds. Click HERE to visit Project Clean Water’s website. 

To learn more about the County of San Diego - Watershed Protection Program, please visit