Storm water is water that originates during precipitation events. It may also be used to apply to water that originates with snowmelt that enters the storm water system. Storm water that does not soak into the ground becomes surface runoff, which either flows directly into surface waterways or is channeled into storm sewers, which eventually discharge to surface waters (i.e. rivers).
Storm water is of concern for 2 main issues:
- The volume and timing of runoff water flooding.
- The potential contaminants that the water is carrying (i.e. water pollution).
Managing the quantity and quality of storm water is termed, “Storm water Management.” The term Best Management Practices (BMP) is often used to refer to both structural or engineered control devices and systems to treat polluted storm water, as well as operational or procedural practices.
Storm Water Management Includes the Following Aspects:
- Manage storm water to control flooding and erosion;
- Manage and control hazardous materials to prevent release of pollutants into the environment;
- Plan and construct storm water systems so contaminants are removed before they pollute surface waters or groundwater resources;
- Acquire and protect natural waterways where they still exist or can be rehabilitated;
- Revise current storm water regulations to address comprehensive storm water needs;
- Develop long-term asset management programs to repair and replace aging infrastructure;
- Educate a community about how its actions affect water quality and about what it can do to improve water quality; and
- Plan carefully to create solutions before problems become too great.