Friday, 4 November 2011

Stormwater BMPs

The increase in stormwater runoff velocity and volume caused by a high impervious surface cover in urban areas can lead to decreased water quality, increased erosion and damage to homes and infrastructure. Climate change is expected to bring about more frequent and intense precipitation events which will only escalate the problems. So what can be done?
Around the world cities and towns are implementing a range of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) which are control measures to mitigate quality and quantity of runoff. BMPs can be source control measures which are installed on-site, conveyance control measures which manage runoff between the source and output (ie, in sewers and ditches), end of pipe measures which provide mitigation at the end of the conveyance system and general BMPs such as public education and policy development. Specific examples include:

Source controls - rain barrel, porous pavement, green roof, rain garden, lot grading.

Conveyance controls – vegetated swales, pervious pipe systems

End of pipe controls- constructed wetlands, detention/retention facilities, buffer strips

Many of these methods are already being used in Halifax. We will explore each of these tools in more detail to understand how they work and when they should be used. If you can’t wait and need more information now, check out HRM Stormwater Management Guidelines for a detailed description of stormwater BMPs.

Permeable pavers are a great alternative to concrete driveways and parking lots

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