Stormwater Best Management Practices

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 by controlling peak runoff rate, improving water quality, and managing runoff volume.

Important considerations when selecting BMPs include but are not limited to: 1) site conditions (e.g. slope and soil types); 2) existing and surrounding land uses; 3) priority stormwater management goals (e.g. water quality regulations); and, 4) additional site development or redevelopment goals (e.g. recreational opportunities). 

See our Sustainable Development page for more information on selecting stormwater BMPs to fit the natural environment and systems.

Types of BMPs

Pennsylvania’s Stormwater Best Management Practice Manual divides common stormwater best management practices (BMPs) into two categories: structural or non-structural. Structural BMPs are engineered systems that “reduce and mitigate impacts of development” while non-structural BMPs are “broader planning and design approaches…that prevent stormwater generation” (PA Stormwater BMP Manual). More information on each BMP is available below.

By Land Use

Nonpoint source water pollutants enter streams and other aquatic environments through precipitation that runs off the land. Pollutants originate from a variety of different land uses such as residential, agricultural, commercial, urban, brownfields, and highways/roads. Explore BMPs for each land use below.

Explore Stormwater Resources and Tools 

Stormwater Resources Planning Documents Sustainable Land Use Planning