Best Management Practices
These are the actions we take to ensure that the least possible amount of damage is being done to the environment which we inhabit. Because of these actions, we can believe that we did our very best to sustain the space which the next generation will dwell.
Low Impact Development or LID is the practice of taking steps during development design to minimize changes to the hydrologic cycle (runoff and infiltration after a storm). LID strategies integrate green space, native landscaping, natural hydrologic functions, and various other techniques to generate less runoff from developed land (NRDC, Stormwater Strategies 2001 Report).
These bioswales direct water runoff from one location to another while allowing infiltration to occur. Although some may refer to these areas as ditches, they do however have a much greater purpose than to collect the water which runs off the road. Without having distinguished places for runoff to infiltrate the ground, the water tables which our wells and streams depend on would run dry.
Grass Filter Strips
Areas which are slightly larger than swales but perform similar tasks. Whereas swales direct runoff, filter strips provide more surface area and a gentler slope which allows runoff to have more room to eliminate pollutants by infiltration as well as phytoremediation (plants absorbing pollution).
Because runoff can rapidly collect in storm water pipes and then destory stream channels, reducing the amount of runoff is a huge concern. By placing vegetation on rooftops, water is absorbed and reduced by plants instead of repelled by impervious surfaces. This can drastically decrease the amount runoff, erosion, and pollution in nearby areas.
Since the creation of the automobile, roadways have become one of America’s greatest achievements. Although these roadways allow vehicles to travel almost anywhere within the great 50 states, water on the other hand is being limited to where it can travel. By using pervious pavements, water is able to pentrate through the pavement and directly back into the water table below.
It’s a free source of water! Since the majority of rooftops around the world repel water, why not use it? By placing a barrel near a downspout of a gutter and linking the two together, water for irrigation becomes much cheaper.
An area which is designed to collect a large amount of rainfall and runoff in order to allow a greater amount of infiltration to occur. Because water can hold in this garden, selected vegetation has more time to absorb water through roots and the ground has enough time to return water back into the water table.
Point Source & Nonpoint Source Pollution
Although Point Source Pollution (pollants which enter a water system at a specific location) is what most people think of when it comes to pollution, Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) is having a much greater impact on our bodies of water. NPS pollution can be defined as the sediments, toxins, chemicals, waste, etc. which enter groundwater, streams, and oceans at nonidentifiable points. These pollutants include but are not limited to the soap from washing the car, gasoline which drips on the ground, stream bank erosion, fertilizer from the lawn, pet waste, sediment runoff, and household cleaners.
Have a wonderful day!