Stormwater Management

Stormwater management is the control of runoff as close as possible to its point of origin. The purpose is to provide for infiltration and prevent the worsening of downstream flooding. The subject of stormwater management has historically included detention basins. In addition, stormwater programs have focused on new development as opposed to modifications to existing development. In the Delaware River Basin, state and local governments are responsible for stormwater management.

There are many techniques for stormwater management, including natural landscaping, eliminating lawn mowing in flood plains and stream buffers, diverting gutter downspouts to lawns instead of driveways, and use of porous paving. The objective is to slow runoff and allow maximum time for infiltration. The retrofitting of stormwater controls in urban areas is an especially difficult problem, since many areas are nearly 100% impervious.

Stormwater programs are the most important feature in preventing additional flood damage due to new development and can serve to reduce flood damage if applied to existing development. Stormwater management has additional benefits for water quality control and enhancement of infiltration to groundwater.

At the December 12, 2007 DRBC meeting, Rebecca L. Schneider, Ph.D., Director of the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, gave a presentation on "Roadside Ditch Management to Reduce Stormwater Runoff and Mitigate Floods and Droughts;" click here to view the presentation (pdf 2.9 MB). For additional information, please contact Dr. Schneider at (607) 255-2115 or RLS11@cornell.edu. Click here for more information about this Cornell project.

At the December 10, 2008 DRBC meeting, Howard M. Neukrug, P.E., then-Director of the Philadelphia Water Department's (PWD) Office of Watersheds, gave a presentation on "Philadelphia Water Conservation and Stormwater Management Approaches." Click here to view the presentation (pdf 12.5 MB). Additional links: PWD web site and the PWD Watershed Information Center.

DRBC HQ Stormwater Demonstration Project

At the July 18, 2007 DRBC meeting, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to mark the completion of the first phase of the DRBC Stormwater Demonstration Project, an ongoing effort to demonstrate how an older site can be transformed (or retrofitted) to properly handle stormwater. View the press release.

Other Helpful Links

Camden SMART Initiative

Clean Water Partners (pdf 1 MB) - This publication, created by the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, explains simple steps businesses can take to help their community reduce flooding and pollution.

Green City, Clean Waters - This Philadelphia Water Department initiative is a 25-year plan to protect and enhance Philadelphia's watersheds by managing stormwater with innovative green infrastructure. Check out their Green Streets Design Manual.

Green Guide for Property Management - This publication, created by the Schuylkill Action Network and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, provides some suggestions and ideas for large property owners to reduce stormwater pollution.

The National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies

StormwaterPA Web Site (an initiative of GreenTreks Network)

Temple University's Center for Sustainable Communities - Pennypack Creek Watershed Study

Temple-Villanova Sustainable Stormwater Initiative

U.S. EPA: Enhancing Sustainable Communities with Green Infrastructure

Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership