Getting Started

Thoughtful planning and integration of stormwater management requirements in the design phase helps maximize the benefits green infrastructure can offer to any site.  Unlike piped systems below the surface, infiltration systems can work with the natural landscape and land uses to become an asset to a site.

Preserving natural features, reducing disturbance, and minimizing impervious surface area will help reduce the total amount of stormwater a site will need to manage.  This can result in smaller stormwater management facilities and reduced costs. 

Maximize a site’s potential by protecting the natural resources so that they can be integrated into stormwater management design.  These design techniques can enhance appearance and aesthetics along with improving stormwater management and water quality in our local rivers and lakes.

Learn more about how Low Impact Development practices can help maximize a site’s natural features and reduce stormwater management volumes.

Hierarchy of Preferred BMPs

1. Source Control - Non-Structural BMPs

These techniques reduce stormwater runoff by preserving natural systems. These practices can reduce stormwater management costs, land clearing costs, and infrastructure costs while also enhancing site aesthetics and character and increasing property values.

Introduction to non-structural BMPs - SEMCOG

  • Preserve the natural environment

    • Minimize disturbed areas - Factsheet
    • Protect Sensitive Areas- Factsheet
    • Protect existing trees
    • Preserve open space
    • Minimize soil compaction - Factsheet
    • Protect riparian buffers - Factsheet
  • Minimize Impervious Surfaces

  • Use natural storage and vegetation

    • Re-vegetate and re-forest disturbed areas
    • Stormwater disconnection - Factsheet
    • Protect and enhance natural flow pathways - Factsheet

2. Stormwater Runoff Controls - Structural BMPs

These practices manage stormwater runoff generated by impervious surfaces to protect water quality and prevent flooding downstream.  See green infrastructure practices for additional information.

  • Infiltration of runoff on-site

    • Bioretention Systems
    • Rain Gardens
    • Green Roofs
    • Bioswales
    • Vegetated Filter Strips
    • Pervious Pavements
    • Infiltration Basins
    • Infiltration Trenches
    • Subsurface Infiltration Beds
    • Water Capture Reuse
  • Stormwater detention and retention facilities

    • Detention basins
    • Wet Basins
    • Dry Basins
  • Conveyance off-site

Plant Selection

Including plant selection early on in the design and planning phase can help maximize a site’s function, aesthetics, and long term success.  See Plant Selection for additional information.

  • Native vegetation for stormwater management
  • Approved plant list and guide
  • Incorporating trees into site plans