- Energy and Environment
- Department of Stormwater
- Best Management Practices
Best Management Practices
In order to combat stormwater pollution, the County is asking residents to install and implement stormwater best management practices (BMPs). BMPs can slow or absorb stormwater runoff that is carried over impervious surfaces like rooftops, driveways, and sidewalks that convey any exposed pollutants into our local waterways.
Some common homeowner BMPs are:
- Rain Gardens
- Rain Barrels
- Conservation Landscaping
- Tree Plantings
The functionality of these practices requires routine maintenance to get the full preventative potential that they can provide to our waterways. Below are some brochures to help guide you through the steps of maintaining your BMP.
Taking some of these actions can also earn you points in the Green Homes Challenge - Green Leader Challenge! Visit FrederickGreenChallenge.org to get started!
- Dry Wells
- Porous Pavement
- Rain Gardens
- Stormwater Management Ponds
- Rain Barrels
A bioswale is a landscaping feature that facilitates the slowing, collecting, and filtering of stormwater in a depressed, concentrated area. They are designed to manage a large quantities of stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces, like a parking lot or street. They are generally linear systems that are greater in length than width, and are vegetated with plants that can withstand both heavy watering and drought.
Benefits of a bioswale:
- - Reduces standing water that attracts mosquitoes
- - Allows pollutants to be filtered out of the stormwater
- - Increases aesthetics by providing green space
A drywell is an underground storage facility that receives and temporarily stores stormwater runoff from roofs. The storage of this runoff allows the water to infiltrate into the surrounding soils and into the groundwater. A dry well may be either a structural chamber or an excavated pit with a gravel like fill.
Benefits of a dry well:
- - Reduces the amount of stormwater runoff from your property
- - Reduces the amount of sediment and pollutants washed away with runoff into nearby storm drains or streams
- - Allows for groundwater recharge and supply to nearby streams facilitated by the slow release and infiltration.
A micro-bioretention is a filtration system that treats runoff by passing it through a filter bed mixture of sand, soil, and organic matter. A perforated pipe within the stone layer collects and directs the filtered rainwater from large storms to a storm drain system so the facility drains within 2 days. Micro-bioretention areas are often located in parking lot islands, cul-de-sac islands, or along roads.
Benefits of Micro-bioretentions:
- - Replenish groundwater supply
- - Provide wildlife habitat
- - Reduce runoff rates and volumes
- - Remove sediments and pollutants
Porous Pavement or permeable pavement allows rain and snowmelt to seep down to underlying layers of soil and gravel. In addition to reducing the runoff from the rain that falls on them, porous pavements can help filter out pollutants that contribute to water pollution, reduce the need for road salt, and reduce construction costs for residential and commercial development by reducing the amount of conventional drainage features.
Benefits of Porous Pavement
- - Reduces runoff
- - Recharges groundwater
- - Traps sediments and pollutants
- - Reduces the need for other stormwater best management practices
A Rain Garden is a depressed area in the landscape that collects rain water from a roof, driveway or street, and allows it to soak into the ground. Planted with grasses and flowering perennials, rain gardens can be a cost effective and beautiful way to reduce runoff from your property. Rain gardens can also help preserving clean rainwater, creating habitat, and preventing local flooding and water pollution.
Benefits of Rain Gardens:
- - Reduce or eliminate the need to water with municipal water
- - Reduce garden maintenance
- - Reduce stormwater runoff
- - Increase natural habitat
Stormwater management ponds are designed to collect stormwater and slowly release it so that downstream areas are not flooded or eroded. The collection of stormwater runoff in this retention area, allows the pollutants and sediments to settle down to the bottom of the pond before they have a chance to enter into our local waterways. Depending on the type of pond, pooled water can remain permanently (wet pond) or it could all be released within 72 hours (dry pond).
Benefits of Stormwater Management Ponds:
- - Reduced flooding and erosion of adjacent streams and properties
- - Naturally processes water and traps pollutants
- - Provides wildlife habitat
Rain barrels capture water from a roof and hold it for later use, such as watering lawns, gardens, or indoor plants. Collecting roof runoff in rain barrels reduces the amount of water that flows from your property.
- - Stormwater runoff can collect pollution and carry it into local streams.
- - Stormwater runoff can also pick up leaves, sticks, litter, and other items that can clog storm drains and pipes.
- - Minimizing runoff reduces soil erosion.
- - Collecting rainwater in barrels prevents it from puddling in your lawn or around your home's foundation.
- - The stored water is a free resource that can lower water bills and is great to have in times of drought!