Making the Most of BMP Performance and National Stormwater Quality Databases as Tools to Address Stormwater Challenges
Communities throughout the U.S. are increasingly working to address pollution caused impairments, particularly due to requirements under Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). Sources of pollutant loadings may include municipal wastewater discharges, urban stormwater, agriculture, channel erosion and other sources. In order to reduce pollutant loading, it is important to understand the magnitude of loads from various sources and develop realistic performance expectations for best management practices (i.e., control measures) implemented to reduce stormwater and nonpoint source loads.
The International Stormwater BMP Database project (www.bmpdatabase.org) provides a growing centralized resource to support communities addressing pollutant issues. Key focus areas for the BMP Database now include:
• Urban Stormwater BMP Performance (1996-present): This database and associated tools provide access to nearly 600 BMP performance studies, including both conventional and green infrastructure practices. Statistically-based performance studies are available for both individual practices and practice groups (e.g., bioretention). The paper will present examples of use of the Urban BMP database in California.
• Agricultural BMP Performance (2012-present): This database provides performance data for conservation practices implemented in agricultural settings. The initial database focuses on row crops and practices such as conservation tillage, drainage water management, nutrient management, cover crops, buffers/filter strips and others. Initial results of analysis of the initial database will be presented.
• Stream Restoration Practice Database (initiated 2015): Channel degradation can be a potential source of pollutant loading to receiving waters. Stream restoration practices may help to reduce loading to receiving waters. Thus, a new Stream Restoration module is being developed for the BMP Database. The effort to develop monitoring and reporting protocols will be discussed as well as potential uses of resulting information in watershed /TMDL implementation planning as pollutant trading will be highlighted.
• National Stormwater Quality Database (host, 2014-present): Initially released in 2004, the National Stormwater Quality Database has a new home at www.bmpdatabase.org and provides characterization of pollutants in urban runoff, enabling estimation of the role of urban runoff in nutrient loading based on factors such as land use, EPA Rain Zone, state and other features. The database has been updated as of 2014 with new data. Potential uses of this database will also be highlighted.
This paper will provide an overview of each of these elements of the International BMP Database effort, including the latest information on new resources available on www.bmpdatabase.org and how the information can be used to improve watershed and stormwater management .