Stormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas. Whatever doesn’t get soaked into the ground and filtered back into the natural water cycle floods and carries trash, bacteria, heavy metals, and other pollutants from the urban landscape into nearby water bodies.
Higher flows as a result of heavy rains can also cause erosion and flooding in urban streams that damage habitat, property, and infrastructure. One can manage stormwater runoff by engineering Blue, Grey, and Green Infrastructure.
Green Infrastructure, or Low Impact Development (LID), uses or mimics the natural processes that result in infiltration, evaporation or use of stormwater. These processes aim to create functional and appealing site drainage that treat stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product. On a broad scale, these practices can be managed so that they maintain or restore a watershed’s hydrologic and ecological functions.
Gray Stormwater Infrastructure includes the conventional piped drainage and water treatment systems that are designed to move urban stormwater away from the built environment. This separate from Blue Infrastructure, which uses small footprint high-efficiency devices installed and retrofitted within existing collection systems.
Implementing Best Management Practices
EEC Environmental (EEC) assists industrial facilities with the identification and implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to assist in consistently meeting California’s established numeric action levels (NALs).
Industrial facilities are required to implement source control BMPs. These BMPs are intended to keep pollutants out of the stormwater and could be structural or non-structural. However, when source control BMPs are not sufficient to consistently meet the NALs, a facility may need to implement advanced BMPs, which are controls intended to remove the pollutants from the stormwater. Examples of source control BMPs and advanced BMPs include:
- Good Housekeeping (i.e., sweeping, preventing material tracking)
- Preventative Maintenance
- Spill and Leak Prevention and Response
- Material Handling and Waste Management
- Erosion and Sediment Controls
- Employee Training
- Quality Assurance Record Keeping
Advanced BMPs include:
- Exposure Minimization (i.e., shelters, preventing contact with materials)
- Containment and Discharge Reduction (i.e., infiltration, reuse, diversion, LID BMPs)
- Treatment Control BMPs (i.e., mechanical, chemical, biologic, or other treatment technology)
For more information about stormwater infrastructure and best management practices contact EEC by clicking the following link here.