Stormwater Management & Best Management Practices

Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rainfall and snowmelt flows over top of the land because it is not able to percolate (soak) into the ground. Runoff can occur on land that is compacted or bare (no trees or vegetation) or that is sloped (hills or mountains) or covered by manmade surfaces (impervious surfaces). Impervious surfaces can consist of paved streets, parking lots, building rooftops, decking, driveways etc.  The precipitation that runs off can flow into storm drains (that lead eventually to a stream, river or other body of water), rivers, lakes and eventually the oceans.

Runoff can accumulate debris, chemicals, sediment (soil), excess nutrients (lawn fertilizers or soaps from washing vehicles in your driveway) or other pollutants such as oil and grease, pesticides and herbicides, bacteria or viruses from non-functioning septic systems, combined sewer overflows and pet waste that is not disposed of properly. Stormwater runoff can also lead to erosion, flooding and other environmental and health issues if not properly maintained.

The primary method to control stormwater runoff is the use of best management practices (BMPs). Stormwater BMPs are devices, practices, or methods that are used to manage stormwater runoff. The links below provide information on the types of BMPs that can be used to manage stormwater runoff:


National & State Stormwater Best Management Practice Information

Specific Types of Best Management Practices

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  Land-Use Specific BMPs

Vegetation and Stormwater Management

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 Educational Materials


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Erin Kepple Adams
Claire Jordy

Pennsylvania Stormwater Regulations

State & Federal Water Laws
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Act 167 Watersheds

NFIP Communities in the SPC Region Impaired Waterways by Source
Designated Uses in SPC Region
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for Impaired Waterways
Population Density
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Municipal Separate Stormwater System (MS4)

SPC Educational Resources

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Stormwater Management & Best Management Practices

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SWPA's Homeowner's Guide To Stormwater

Climate Change and Water Resources

Resources for Water Suppliers & Wastewater Managers

Additional Water
Quality Information

UPDATED! Quick Resource Guide to the MS4 Program

Quick Resource Guide for Winter Maintenance BMPs

Education Materials SPC Water Resource Center



National & State Stormwater BMP Information National BMP Information Pennsylvania Stormwater BMP Information Specific Types of BMPs Key Concepts Non-Structural BMPs Specific Types of Non-Structural BMPs Vegetation & Stormwater Management Landscaping Using Native Trees, Shrubs, & Plants Urban Forestry Land-Use Specific BMPs Residential Agricultural Commercial Urban Brownfields Highways & Roads