A stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) is a technique, measure, or structural control that is used to manage the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff. The goal is to reduce the amount of runoff and improve the quality of stormwater runoff by reducing or eliminating contaminants that are carried by stormwater directly to streams and rivers. Homeowners can adopt a number of BMPs that will help to achieve this goal. For a more extensive BMP list visit the Environmental Protection Agency website.
Common Stormwater Best Management Practices
A rain garden is a basin filled with plants and grasses that collects water that runs off of surfaces such as lawns, roofs, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots. Wildflowers and other native vegetation are preferred for rain garden landscaping as they require less fertilizer and are more tolerant of local conditions. Rain gardens allow stormwater to filter into the ground rather than running into the storm drains.
Bioswales are stormwater conveyance systems that provide an alternative to storm sewers. They can absorb low flows or carry runoff from heavy rains. Bioswales improve water quality by infiltrating the first flush of stormwater runoff and filtering the large storm flows they convey. They consist of a swaled drainage course with gently sloped sides and filled with vegetation, compost and/or riprap.
Bioswales Provide Aesthetic Stormwater Management
Detention and Retention Basins
Urbanized areas, due to impervious surfaces, produce large stormwater runoff volumes. Stormwater runoff is a significant source of water pollution. A detention basin is a stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) designed to reduce the impacts of urbanization on local streams and rivers by collecting and slowly releasing stormwater, improving stormwater quality as well as reducing peak flows. Properly maintained detention basins can provide effective pollutant removal and necessary storage volumes during larger storm events.