Stormwater ManagementUp one level
The negative impacts of urban runoff – primarily flooding, water pollution, and reduced groundwater supplies – threaten the health and water supplies of our communities. Stricter regulations are forcing communities to rethink their stormwater options. Newer more economical ways to meet these regulations use systems that echo nature’s way of handling runoff water.
Stormwater runoff is part of natural drainage processes that occur when it rains. In developed areas, rain is not able to drain properly; the drainage routes that rainwater would normally take are blocked or covered over.
Covering over land, i.e., developing it, interferes with that natural drainage process through:
- The loss of undeveloped natural areas that absorb runoff;
- The expansion of impervious surfaces that prevent natural infiltration of runoff; and
- Impacts associated with construction and post-construction activity such as greater traffic that increase water pollution.
Opportunities exist to control the impacts of urban runoff if communities:
- Protect sensitive sites and valuable natural areas,
- Minimize imperviousness and maximize permeability, and
- To the maximum extent possible, handle runoff on site, through holding ponds, natural drainage systems, and other low-cost strategies.
- Urban Stormwater Management Fact Sheet
- This US EPA publication summarizes the research on the relationship between the built and natual environments, as well as current understanding of the role of development patterns, urban design and transportation in improving environmental quality.
- This report, produced by the Trust for Public Land and the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP), identifies five smart growth approaches that can improve water quality: land conservation, waterfront brownfields revitalization, urban and community forestry, low impact development, and watershed management
- This website has been developed through a Cooperative Assistance Agreement under the US EPA Office of Water 104b(3) Program in order to provide a web-based clearinghouse that allows researchers, practitioners, and program managers to collaborate and efficiently disseminate and share information with local governments, states, builders, developers, stakeholders, and environmental groups. The administrative and technical information available through this clearinghouse will be useful to permit writers, local government officials, watershed managers, and stakeholders.
- The Coalition's goal is to facilitate the prevention of storm water pollution in Humboldt County by educating residents about stormwater runoff and its effects on water quality in local streams, rivers, Humboldt Bay and the ocean.
- MIT mitigates stormwater runoff through a biofiltration system that includes vegetated swales and underground reservoir.
- University of Wisconsin Extension web site that serves as a gateway to educational programs and publications
- A publication of Texas NEMO and others that discusses and displays the three strategies for a healthy environment: preserving open space, encouraging compact growth, and controlling urban stormwater runoff.
- TMRSQMP is a collaborative effort of the cities of Reno, Sparks and Washoe County. This site includes handbooks on construction site BMPs, low impact development, and structural controls design.
- Information on low impact development in the Seattle area.