Updated: Mar 31
If you are the Prime Contractor on a Caltrans project in California, or perhaps a subcontractor with some level of SWPPP responsibility, your project will need a Water Pollution Control Manager (often shortened to WPCM or WPC manager). So what does this person do?
A WPC manager, per the Caltrans Standard Specifications is assigned to implement the Water Pollution Control Program (WPCP) or Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). This person is the primary contact responsible for overseeing water pollution control work including maintenance of water pollution control practices, visual inspections, reporting, preparation and implementation of Rain Event Action Plans and sampling and analysis. They are also responsible for overseeing and enforcing hazardous waste practices and spill prevention. The WPC manager is also responsible for preparing any required NAL Exceedance reports, violation reports, annual certifications, and annual reports. They are essentially there to make sure your project remains compliant with the Caltrans water pollution control requirements, the Caltrans MS4 permit and the State of California Stormwater Construction General Permit.
What credentials does the WPC Manager need to have?
For a Caltrans project, the WPC manager must be a Qualified SWPPP Developer (QSD) if the project requires a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), ie for those projects over 1 acre or more of soil disturbance. For non-Caltrans project, the WPC manager can be a Qualified SWPPP Practitioner. This information can often be found in the Specs. The WPC manager must be a Qualified SWPPP Practitioner (QSP) if the project requires a Water Pollution Control Program (WPCP), ie for those projects under 1 acre of soil disturbance or that have an Erosivity Waiver.
Can the WPC Manager be in a remote office?
The WPC manager does not have to be in the trailer at the jobsite, but must be close enough that they can be at the site within 2 hours of being contacted per Caltrans requirements. For the best service, hire a WPC manager that is local, or at least has a regular route that services your area. The WPC manager should not just be looking at and signing reports from say 6 hours away. To provide the best service, that person should be coming to your job site to see it first hand and when they can't be there, they should be working with the QSP and stormwater inspectors to make sure the job site is compliance with Caltrans and California stormwater regulations and permit requirements.
At Tully Consulting Group, our WPC managers come to your job site to inspect the job themselves and work directly with the QSP or stormwater inspector to make sure your project is compliant with stormwater requirements. We can provide all the necessary trained inspection staff turn key.
What defines a good WPC Manager?
EXPERIENCE. ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY. PROFESSIONALISM. DEDICATION TO SERVICE. KNOWLEDGE OF CURRENT EROSION CONTROL AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PRACTICES. EXPERIENCE WITH ALL ASPECTS OF WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT. UNDERSTANDING OF HOW CONSTRUCTION WORKS AND WHAT BUDGETS ARE.
For this critical role, make sure you select someone with stormwater management field experience and extensive knowledge of Caltrans and California stormwater and environmental laws and requirements. A good manager is not someone who can just point out when a fiber roll needs repair; a good manager can see what Best Management Practices (BMPs) are missing. A good manager can also help with proactive implementation of BMPs to prevent issues before they occur. That manager should also have experience with proper BMP installation procedures and a good sense of how to best apply BMPs for the most effective usage (ie not over implementing or under implementing). A BMP such as silt fence or erosion control blanket, for example, is only effective when installed and designed correctly.
Why choose an outside consultant?
At Tully Consulting Group, our WPC managers and inspectors undergo classroom training, consistent on-the-job training and regular in-house office workshops to keep current. Our WPC managers have real site experience to be able to help you with even your most challenging projects. Our staff also has the appropriate QSD and QSP certifications along with the necessary underlying certifications from CISEC, CPESC, CPSWQ and others. From creeks, rivers, wetlands, sensitive habit, and rugged mountain conditions to flat and urban conditions, our inspectors know what it takes to keep your project compliant in the stormwater management field. We also have licensed civil engineers with grading, drainage and erosion control design experience that oversee our stormwater program.