Functioning properly, your stormwater system keeps harmful pollutants and debris from draining into California’s rivers, lakes and ocean. The storm filter is the powerhouse of the stormwater system, capturing and treating stormwater runoff before it has the chance to enter our waterways.

Regular inspection and maintenance on these filters is required for them to perform their best. While the filter itself doesn’t need to be changed that often (roughly every 5-10 years or if they incur damage), the media inside the filter must be changed at least once per year. The media is a sponge-like substance that collects toxins, becoming saturated over time. 

When the media is full and no longer absorbing harmful materials, the stormwater system ceases to work as designed. Not only does this lead to runoff of toxins in our waterways, but it puts your site at risk for being fined. 

How often the media in your filter needs to be replaced depends on (1) the rate in which the media becomes compacted and (2) which type of filter you have. There are two types of stormwater filters: 

  • Catch basin filters. The media in catch basin filters typically have to be replaced once per year. The filters themselves have a lifespan of about 3-5 years, depending on manufacturer.
  • Filter cartridges. Filter cartridges are housed inside a vault, and the media they use must be replaced when it reaches 75% capacity. This typically happens every 1-3 years.

Sometimes the media needs to be replaced more frequently than once per year, especially in an area with high traffic. A qualified stormwater inspection company can determine if this is the case.  

Although it doesn’t use media, StormTek is the 100% full-trash capture device offered exclusively by SWIMS that will help keep trash and toxins out of our waterways. StormTek has been approved by the California State Water Board, and with thousands of devices installed across the state, is proven to be reliable, durable, and easy to maintain. 

Is your stormwater filter due for a check-up? We can help. Schedule your FREE site inspection here.