The Stormwater Management Program (SMP) strives to control negative impacts associated with new and existing development, including increased runoff, polluted stormwater, stream erosion, and loss of floodplain services. The program provides guidance for cost-effective and preventive measures (best management practices) that can be applied to limit these impacts during construction and after development. SMP practices control erosion and trap sediments during construction, treat pollutants from developed areas and reduce stormwater runoff and protect downstream waters. Practice standards and specifications are available through the Rainwater and Land Development manual (available online at www.ohiodnr.com/tabid/9186/Default.aspx). Training for the development industry as well as state and local government personnel is offered for practice design, stormwater management plan review and construction site inspection.
Environmental, Economic and Public Importance
Development projects provide significant social and economic benefits. The SMP delivers economic, social and environmental value to Ohioans by helping developers and communities ensure projects minimize or mitigate environmental impacts in the most cost effective manner. For example, developers, contractors and local government employees are trained how to design, build and inspect stormwater practices that reduce sediment, pollution and other impacts to Ohio’s streams and lakes.
Natural streams and floodplains provide millions of dollars worth of “clean-water” treatment, much of which is lost as streams downcut, erode and adjust to increased runoff. Well designed and implemented stormwater management practices not only treat runoff for pollutants, but also help to prevent streams from eroding, maintain natural storage of flood flows, capture sediments and other pollutants, and maintain stable habitat that occurs in and alongside healthy streams. Application of low impact design and runoff reduction techniques have, in many cases, lowered the cost of infrastructure over conventional developments, while preserving the natural integrity and services of streams and riparian areas.
In 2010, the SMP staff developed new pervious pavement practice guidelines, organized stormwater education workshops and conferences, and performed watershed modeling to show the value of various stormwater techniques such as bioretention, permeable pavement, disconnecting hard surfaces and grass swales to reduce total runoff and pollutants.