Best Management Practice

Synonyms: BMP, BMPs, Stormwater BMP, Stormwater BMPs

Best Management Practices (in terms of stormwater) are techniques or methods that aim to manage the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff in a cost-effective manner.  BMPs often aim to replicate natural processes and, depending on their design- can offer several social, environmental, and financial benefits to people who live nearby or downstream of the installed BMP.

Stormwater BMPs intend to reduce or eliminate pollution and contaminants collected by runoff before the runoff reaches local streams or other waterways.  The ideal place to stop pollution is at the source.  Once pollutants, contaminants, or unstable nutrient levels reach streams or rivers, they can be a real threat to the health of humans, wildlife, and stream ecosystems.

Stormwater BMPs also aim to restore water flow regimes to their natural state.  Because many urban and suburban areas have hard, impervious surfaces that- before human intervention- would otherwise be forests or meadows, stormwater flows extremely quickly into storm drains and into local streams.  This rapid flow causes flash flooding and stream bank erosion, additional threats to humans and stream ecosystems.  BMPs retain water on site or soak stormwater into the ground, helping to reduce flooding concerns.

No one BMP can solve all issues related to stormwater runoff.  The important thing to remember is every effort helps!  Any practice or combination of practices you can contribute on your property has a positive impact on water quality and quantity related problems and will benefit you and the environment.