Engineers, Landscape Architects, Architects, and other designers have the crucial role of raising the bar when planning and designing stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and ensuring they are installed correctly to perform their intended functions. As you evaluate sites for new BMPs, consider whether green infrastructure would be advantageous to install rather than (or in combination with) traditional grey infrastructure.
Green infrastructure techniques such as rain gardens, permeable pavement, riparian buffers, and green roofs not only manage stormwater where it falls- they improve quality of life by cleaning the air, cooling our homes, and beautifying properties. Local residents will enjoy the beauty of these practices and may be more willing to support local stormwater programs, whereas businesses can achieve real financial benefits from these practices. Traditional stormwater BMPs are likely required by your local stormwater regulations, but these factors indicate that green infrastructure is an alternative win-win for everyone in the community. As many BMP elements are being refined and improved upon (such as soil specs and plant material, for example) it is also important to stay up to date on the latest technology. See the links provided below for more information.
For contractors, it is absolutely critical to work closely with the site designers when installing green infrastructure stormwater BMPs. Maintaining soil permeability will make or break an infiltration practice. Precise slopes, curb cuts, and construction sequence when dealing with these water devices should also be carefully considered. Additionally, many of these devices are sized (elevation wise) to the exact inch, and diverging from these specs may also cause practice failure. As such, careful construction oversight and communication with the site engineers is necessary. Follow the resources below for more information.
For both contractors and designers, it is important to have a scheduled maintenance plan in place and to work directly with Landscapers / Maintenance Staff to ensure ongoing success of the project.
The Chesapeake Stormwater Network is a network of nearly 7,000 stormwater professionals and offers free training to promote better design, installation, and understanding of innovative stormwater practices at existing, new, and redevelopment sites throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Join today and stay up to date on the latest BMP technology and information, or navigate to the training library to view existing reports and recorded webinars.
The District Department of Transportation is known nationally for its progressive green infrastructure design standards, which are available (along with many other useful resources) on their Green Infrastructure webpage.
The Green Infrastructure Design and Implementation (EPA) webpage highlights the BMP manuals for several states, and also identifies common site constraints or obstacles and how to overcome them.