Why We Manage and Monitor Stormwater
Courtesy USGS, South Atlantic Water Science Center
We can take steps to manage floods, recharge the aquifer, provide habitat and reduce runoff pollution. Retaining water and allowing plants and soils to filter pollutants reduces the impact of development on waterways.
Water structures, such as swales or infiltration basins, prevent pollutants from directly entering the water system. We can reduce algal blumes by keeping excess nutrients, washed from yards, gardens and agriculture, from directly entering streams and lakes.
The Clean Water Act, a 1972 update of the 1948 Federal Water Pollution Control Act, brought about changes in how waters are discharged into down-stream bodies of water. It gave the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) governance over the pollutant discharge into the waters of the United States. It also made it unlawful for any person, without review and prior authorization, to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters. Thus the growth in the development of enclosed French drains, bioswales, infiltration basins and rain gardens.
Bridgerland Audubon in conjunction with the Logan River Task Force, USU Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Utah Water Resource Lab is working to implement structures to filter water before it enters local streams. A case in point is work on the Denzil Stewart Nature Park in Logan, UT.
Ogle, D. and J.C. Hoag. 2000. Stormwater plant materials, a resource guide. Detailed information on appropriate plant materials for Best Management Practices. City of Boise, Public Works Department, Boise, ID. https://bridgerlandaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Stormwater-plants-material-A-resource-guide.pdf
Do Plants Make a Difference, USU Civil and Environmental Engineering, USU Utah Water Research Lab, City of Logan, April 22, 2011, https://bridgerlandaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/GMS22April2011.pdf
A Guide to Low Impact Development within Utah, Prepared for Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality by Michael Baker International, December 2018, Revised August 2020, https://documents.deq.utah.gov/water-quality/stormwater/updes/DWQ-2019-000161.pdf
Cache Valley Storm Water Design Standards as Amended by Logan City February 2017, Updated February 2017 By: Lance E. Houser, P.E. https://cms9files.revize.com/loganut/Storm%20Water%20Design%20Standards%202-2017.pdf
EPA provides municipal and community resources for green infrastructure to Soak Up the Rain: https://www.epa.gov/soakuptherain
History of the Clean Water Act, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/history-clean-water-act
Harmful Algal Blooms, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), https://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/harmful-algal-blooms
A Landowners Guide to Utah Wetlands, Utah Geological Survey, https://geology.utah.gov/docs/gwp/A-Landowners-Guide-to-Utah-Wetlands_v2.pdf
Green Infrastructure in the Semi-Arid West, Low-Impact Development and Green Infrastructure in the Semi-Arid West, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), https://www.epa.gov/green-infrastructure/green-infrastructure-semi-arid-west
Cappiella, Karen, Stack, W.P., Fraley-McNeal, Lisa, Lane, Cecilia, and McMahon, Gerard, 2012, Strategies for
managing the effects of urban development on streams: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1378, 69 p., https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1378/pdf/Circular1378.pdf
Heavy Metals — How Plants can Help Make Stormwater Cleaner, Utah State Today, Utah State University, April 16, 2015 https://www.usu.edu/today/story/heavy-metals-how-plants-can-help-make-stormwater-cleaner