• Posted by: Ecospill Spill Kits

How Often Should You Replace Your Stormwater Drain Filter?

Stormwater management is a vital aspect of urban planning, and at the heart of this system are stormwater drain filters. As the first line of defence against contaminants, these filters require careful attention to ensure optimal performance. This blog aims to answer the often-overlooked question: How frequently should you replace your stormwater drain filter? Join us as we explore the key factors influencing replacement intervals and the importance of proactive maintenance in urban infrastructure.

What is a Stormwater Drain?

A stormwater drain or storm sewer is a system designed to manage rainwater and prevent flooding in urban areas. Its primary function is to collect and transport rainwater runoff from streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and other surfaces to prevent waterlogging and flooding. The stormwater drain network generally consists of underground pipes, culverts, and open channels that direct rainwater away from populated areas.

Unlike sanitary sewers that handle wastewater from homes and businesses, stormwater drains are specifically dedicated to managing rainwater. The collected stormwater is often discharged directly into nearby water bodies, such as rivers, lakes, or oceans. The purpose of stormwater drains is to mitigate the impact of heavy rainfall by quickly moving excess water away from urban areas to prevent property damage and maintain public safety.

What are Stormwater Drain Filters?

Stormwater drain filters are devices designed to trap and filter pollutants, debris, and contaminants from stormwater runoff before they enter the drainage system. These filters are essential components in stormwater management systems, playing a key role in protecting natural water bodies from harmful substances carried by rainwater.

Importance of Stormwater Drain Filters

Stormwater drain filters are essential for maintaining water quality, preventing pollution, and safeguarding both the environment and public health. Here are some ways in which they fulfil this responsibility:

Pollution Prevention

Stormwater runoff can carry various pollutants such as oil, sediment, litter, and chemicals from roads and urban surfaces. Stormwater drain filters help prevent these pollutants from entering water bodies, safeguarding water quality and aquatic ecosystems.

Environmental Protection

By capturing and removing pollutants, stormwater drain filters contribute to the overall health of the environment. This is essential for preserving biodiversity, supporting aquatic life, and maintaining the ecological balance of water ecosystems.

Compliance with Regulations

Many environmental regulations and guidelines mandate the use of stormwater management practices, including the installation of effective filters. Compliance with these regulations is necessary for avoiding penalties and ensuring responsible urban development.

Flood Prevention

Blocked drains can lead to waterlogging and increased flood risks. Stormwater drain filters help maintain the efficiency of drainage systems by preventing blockages and reducing the likelihood of flooding in urban areas during heavy rainfall.

Public Health and Safety

Contaminated stormwater can pose health risks to the public. By removing harmful substances, stormwater drain filters contribute to ensuring that water resources are safe for recreational activities and minimise potential health hazards associated with polluted runoff.

Infrastructure Protection

Sediment and debris carried by stormwater runoff can accumulate in drainage pipes, leading to blockages and infrastructure damage. Stormwater drain filters protect the longevity and functionality of drainage infrastructure by reducing the risk of drain blocks and system failures.

However, their regular maintenance and timely replacement are integral components of effective stormwater management strategies in urban areas.

Factors Influencing Replacement Frequency of Storm Drain Filters

Several factors influence the replacement frequency, and recognising the signs can prevent issues such as blocked drains and compromised water quality. Here’s a guide on when to consider replacing your stormwater drain filter:

Local Climate and Weather Conditions

The climate in your area can impact how quickly stormwater drain filters wear out. Areas with frequent heavy rainfall or extreme weather events may require more frequent replacements.

Surrounding Environment and Types of Pollutants

The nature of the environment around your stormwater drains matters. If your location is prone to high levels of pollutants, such as industrial areas or busy roadways, filters may need more frequent replacement.

Drainage System Usage and Traffic Volume

The volume of water passing through the drainage system and the level of traffic in the area can affect filter lifespan. High-traffic areas or systems dealing with large volumes of water may require more frequent replacements.

Material and Design of the Stormwater Drain Filter

The type of material and design of your stormwater drain filter influence its durability. Filters made from durable materials and designed for efficiency may have longer lifespans, but it’s essential to monitor them regularly.

Scheduled Replacement at Three Years

As a proactive measure, consider replacing the stormwater drain filter with a new one after a consistent three-year period, regardless of its visible condition. This scheduled replacement helps maintain the filter’s effectiveness and ensures ongoing optimal performance in stormwater management.

Signs of a Blocked or Ineffective Stormwater Drain Filter

Identifying signs of a blocked or ineffective stormwater drain filter helps ensure the integrity and efficiency of drainage systems. Here are 10 telltale signs that your filter may need attention or replacement:

1.     Reduced Drainage Efficiency

If you notice slower drainage or standing water around storm drains, it could be a sign of a blocked or ineffective filter that needs replacement.

2.    Visible Debris Accumulation

Inspect the filter for visible debris, sediment, or pollutants on the surface of the filter. If cleaning doesn’t effectively remove these materials, it’s an indication that replacement is necessary.

3.    Foul Odours

Unpleasant smells around the stormwater drain suggest the presence of decomposing organic matter or pollutants that the filter may not be effectively trapping. This could indicate a need for filter replacement to restore environmental quality.

4.    Pooling Water

If water is pooling around the drain instead of draining efficiently, it may signify a blockage in the filter. Standing water can lead to property damage and should prompt a closer inspection.

5.    Overflow During Rainfall

During rainfall, observe the drainage system’s performance. If the filter is unable to handle the increased water volume, resulting in overflow or flooding, it signals a potential blockage and may require replacement.

6.    Manufacturer Recommendations

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for filter replacement. Manufacturers often provide insights into the expected lifespan of the filter and recommended replacement intervals.

7.    Discolouration of Runoff Water

If the runoff water appears discoloured or contains visible pollutants, it suggests that the filter may not be effectively capturing contaminants. This can compromise water quality and environmental health.

8.    Increased Insect or Pest Activity

Blocked stormwater drains with stagnant water can attract insects and pests. An uptick in insect activity around the drain area may indicate an ineffective filter allowing standing water to persist.

9.    Localised Flooding

If localised flooding occurs during storms or heavy rainfall, it may be a sign that the stormwater drain filter is not adequately preventing water buildup, necessitating prompt attention.

10. Post-Weather Event Inspection

After significant weather events, inspect the filter for any visible damage or accelerated wear. Extreme weather conditions can expedite the need for replacement.


Stormwater Drain Filters by Ecospill

Ecospill’s innovative drain filters are specifically designed to fit seamlessly within storm drains, providing a robust defence mechanism for the surrounding environment. These filters effectively capture and contain oils, fuels, soil, and debris that might otherwise find their way into local water systems. By allowing rainwater to flow through while intercepting potential pollutants, our drain filters ensure the integrity of both worksites and the broader ecosystem. For businesses committed to environmental responsibility and regulatory compliance, these filters offer a practical and reliable solution, mitigating the risk of accidental spillage and the associated consequences. Contact us today to discover how these state-of-the-art drain filters can fortify your environmental protection efforts.