Storm Water Management

Storm Water Management

Non-permeable surfaces (roads, sidewalks, roofs) create demanding situations for storm water systems. Instead of rainfall filtering naturally through the soil, non-permeable surfaces direct rainfall into storm drains, which discharge large volumes of unfiltered, polluted water into watersheds after rain events.

The strategies below help with storm water management:


Rainfall picks up contaminated and particulate matter from non-permeable surfaces and forgoes the natural filtration process.


ImageSediment Forebay
Larger sediment is filtered within the first basin, runoff is filtered more finely by the second basin, and then the runoff continues into watersheds.

The Vortech system removes finer sediment, and larger particulates including debris, from urban runoff. Vortechs are a good choice in urban applications where site space may not allow for a sediment forebay.


Runoff from large surfaces accumulates in isolated drainage points. Substantial rainfalls can often create capacity issues in storm water systems.


ImageUnderground Detention
Average Industry Cost: $15/c.f.
Underground detention systems are used to control the flow of excess storm water by providing a temporary storage area. Runoff is stored until the storm water system will allow for proper discharge. Typical applications are installed in urban environments (under parking lots, buildings, and parks) where using a detention pond is difficult.

ImageDetention Basin
Average Industry Cost: $2/c.f.
Cost-effective and commonly used, detention basins effectively help control the quantity of storm water that enters a system. Similar to underground systems, detention basins store excess rainfall.

Additional Methods

Additional methods can be used as a way of improving quality and controlling quantity:
  • Living roofs
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Bioswales
  • Permeable pavers
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