Managing precipitation where it falls, facilitating infiltration, keeping water on site: there are various ways to prevent runoff before it begins.
- Managing Runoff |
- For Flood Prevention |
- To Improve Water Quality |
- For The Economy |
- To Enhance Quality of Life |
For Flood Prevention
How often does your municipality find itself inundated with homeowner complaints when it rains? Flooded basements, impassable roadways, overflowing sewers, eroded streambanks: besides costing time, money, and aggravation, all these problems pose serious threats to human health.
For all too long, getting runoff away from a property as quickly as possible was the goal of stormwater management, and this was generally accomplished by creating a complex "plumbing" system of conveyances, basins, and pipes. More development meant more such systems, all feeding local sewage treatment systems or flowing directly into rivers and streams. An increase in impervious surfaces added to the problem by increasing the volume and speeding the rate of stormwater flow. Average rain events have become more problematic as the natural systems that once slowed runoff, filtered pollutants, allowed for infiltration, and facilitated transpiration have been replaced by buildings, concrete, pavement and other non-porous surfaces.
Traditional development techniques tend to treat stormwater as an afterthought, whereas low impact development (LID) considers runoff as an integral part of the natural system, from beginning to end.
A Greener Approach
The PA Stormwater BMP Manual emphasizes a comprehensive site design approach to land development. Whether referred to as “Low Impact Development”, “Conservation Design”, or “Green Design”, this environmentally sensitive approach to site development and stormwater management aims to minimize the negative impacts of development.
The focus is on prevention, and seeks to make the built environment work like nature as much as possible. Its goal is to maintain the flood control, erosion prevention, and filtering functions of a site’s pre-development state.
The Site Planning and Design Procedure described in Chapter 4 of the BMP Manual provides a roadmap to determining the most appropriate solution for managing stormwater on a specific site.
StormwaterPA partnered with the Brandywine Conservancy's Environmental Management Center to bring this concept to life. Our interactive Site Design Procedure for Better Stormwater Management provides developers and municipalities with an introduction to the methodology for effectively managing runoff as a development occurs. Click below to take a tour.