Stormwater Management Basics – Essential Ingredients to Create Effective Stormwater Management Systems

Before you decide to go with a complete overhaul of your stormwater management in New York, you need to first understand and appreciate the basics of stormwater. Basically this is a branch of civil engineering that studies how water is disposed of. Yousef Eid has recently released a video outlining what the basics of stormwater are. Here is some of what you learn: 

A common stormwater management basics 3 course at Oxford University Press would be Introduction to Stormwater. This two-part course focuses on the causes and treatment of stormwater runoff. Parts one and two will discuss the science of how stormwater drains down river and wastewater treatment facilities. Parts three and four will introduce you to the federal government’s requirements for stormwater runoff and the role of individual municipalities as they pertain to implementation.

Management Basics

Part one of the Stormwater Management Basics 3 course deals with the causes of stormwater runoff and the importance of reducing these emissions. The causes include human influences like land use and climate that cause rivers and waterways to overheat. These conditions can lead to an increase in both surface runoff and turbidity. The second part of the course describes water quality management. This section looks at the various approaches that can be adopted to reduce the generation of surface runoff through permeable and impervious surfaces.

The third section of the Stormwater Management Basics 3 course addresses the third fundamental factor involved in stormwater management, which is the impervious/impregnable property. It is the density and thickness of impervious surfaces that determine the rate at which water flows through them. For example impervious limestone is a porous rock type that can soak up stormwater and does not move with it. On the other hand, impervious clay and sand are one of the most impervious surfaces, which allows immense water flow in a dynamic process.

Essential Ingredients

One of the other important concepts introduced into the Stormwater Management Basics 3 course is the concept of grounding constraints. Groundwater is the water that is stored below the surface and reaches the ground through a permeable or impervious material. Stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs, impervious floors and slabs, impervious roots, pipes and drains etc., are usually carried into groundwater. Groundwater is replenished from the precipitation that falls on the earth’s surface. Groundwater is important for agricultural and urban development. It also has a significant impact on the hydrophobic quality of the soil.

Effective Stormwater Management Systems

One of the most important concepts in stormwater management basics is the concept of impermeable surface. This is where no living or non-living material can interfere with the movement of storm water. There are different impermeable materials including synthetic solid particles, synthetic blends of natural materials, concrete and rock. The impermeable surface will either be a permeable ground membrane or an inlet membrane designed to control infiltration of storm water into the soil. An impermeable surface can either be a poured concrete jacket over a concreted base or it can be an inlet that is installed below the soil.

  • Stormwater is not just limited to the boundaries of individual cities or districts.
  • New York City alone has thirty-two parks located on three levels, twenty-one of which are located beneath high rise residential buildings.
  • These parks were established to preserve natural habitat and to provide green space for residents.
  • As part of the stormwater management, these parks were designed to blend the natural landscapes with the modern day urban environment.
  • For example, one of the parks known as Englewood Cliffs, located under the Manhattan Bridge, was created as an entrance and exit point from the NYC Harbor to Lower Manhattan.
  • Within the park, there are benches, playgrounds, observation towers and picnic areas.

A third crucial component of effective stormwater management is the water cycle itself. In nature, water is continually being recycled between root systems, waterfalls, streams and lakes. This recycling of water enables it to feed many life forms. A natural water cycle is therefore essential to sustaining a diverse ecosystem and ensuring a healthy population of plant and animal life. The same can be applied to man-made environments. Stormwater runoff from roads, sidewalks and parking lots should be captured and directed to re-circulate through rivers, streams and lakes.

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