Iowa Stormwater Partnership Erosion and Sediment Control Erosion and Sediment control meausres

Criteria for BMP Selection

Selecting BMPs based on pollutants of concern is a function of site constraints, constituents of concern, BMP performance, stringency of permit requirements, and watershed specific requirements. The main criteria for selecting a SQQM BMP for a particular situation include:
a) management plan objectives (reduce/eliminate runoff, control pollutant sources, treat runoff);
b) BMP performance (peak discharge and volume control, pollutant removal capabilities, drainage area, site applicability);
c) BMP category (general application, limited application, conventional application)

Key Stormwater BMP Terminology

  • Pollutants: Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Phosphorus (TP), Soluble Phosphorus (SP), Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN), Nitrate + Nitrite (N), Total Copper (Cu), Total Lead (Pb), Total Zinc (Zn)
  • Best Management Practices (BMP) is a technique, measure, or structural control that is used for a given set of conditions to manage the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff in the most cost-effective manner.
  • Non-structural BMPs. Range of pollution prevention, education, or institutional management and development practices for limiting the conversion of rainfall to runoff and to prevent pollutants from entering runoff at the source of runoff generation.
  • Structural BMPs. Engineered and constructed systems that are used to treat the stormwater at either the point of generation or the point of discharge to either the storm sewer system or to receiving waters.
  • Unified Sizing Criteria integrated set of engineering criteria for sizing and design BMPs:
  • BMP Operating principles
    • Infiltration systems capture a volume of runoff and infiltrate it into the ground.
    • Filtration systems use some combination of a granular or vegetated system filtration media for removing runoff constituents.
    • Detention systems withhold temporarily a volume of runoff for subsequent release.
    • Retention systems provide storage for stormwater runoff without subsequent release.
    • Conveyance systems reduce the amount of runoff through efficient drainage of the landscape.
    • Pervious surfaces are surfaces with lower runoff coefficients than those for impervious ones.
    • Miscellaneous (vendor-supplied) systems are proprietary systems that do not fit under any of the above categories.


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