What is stormwater management?
Managing the quantity and quality of stormwater is termed, "Stormwater Management."[1] The term Best Management Practice (BMP) is often used to refer to both structural or engineered control devices and systems (e.g. retention ponds) to treat or store polluted stormwater, as well as operational or procedural practices. Stormwater management includes both technical and institutional aspects, including:[2]

-->control of flooding and erosion;

-->control of hazardous materials to prevent release of pollutants into the environment (source control);

-->planning and construction of stormwater systems so contaminants are removed before they pollute surface waters or groundwater resources;

-->acquisition and protection of natural waterways or rehabilitation;

-->building "soft" structures such as ponds, swales or wetlands or Green Infrastructure solutions to work with existing or "hard" drainage structures, such as pipes and concrete channels;

-->development of funding approaches to stormwater programs potentially including stormwater user fees and the creation of a stormwater utility;

-->development of long-term asset management programs to repair and replace aging infrastructure;

-->revision of current stormwater regulations to address comprehensive stormwater needs;
enhancement and enforcement of existing ordinances to make sure property owners consider the effects of stormwater before, during and after development of their land;

-->education of a community about how its actions affect water quality, and about what it can do to improve water quality; and

-->planning carefully to create solutions before problems become too great.


[1] Washington State Department of Ecology (2005). Olympia, WA. "Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington." Publication No. 05-10-029.

[2] Debo, Tom; Reese, Andrew (2003). "Chapter 2. Stormwater Management Programs". Municipal Stormwater Management. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. ISBN 1-56670-584-3.

Show All Answers

1. What is stormwater management?
2. How can stormwater quality be improved?
3. What is an elevation certificate?