How Does Stormwater Management Work?

How Does Stormwater Management Work?

Stormwater management is the process of managing the runoff from rain and snowmelt in urban and suburban areas. Proper management of stormwater is essential to protect public health, maintain water quality, prevent flooding, and preserve natural habitats. In this blog article, we will discuss how stormwater management works and why it is important.

What is stormwater?

Stormwater is the water that results from precipitation events like rainfall or snowmelt. In a natural setting, this water would be absorbed by vegetation, soils, and aquifers. However, in urban areas, most of the land is covered with impervious surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and buildings. These surfaces prevent stormwater from soaking into the ground and cause it to run off into storm drains and streams.

Why is stormwater management important?

Urbanization has significant impacts on the hydrological cycle. Impervious surfaces increase the amount of stormwater runoff, which can cause flooding, erosion, and water pollution. In addition, stormwater can carry pollutants like oil, grease, chemicals, and bacteria from streets, parking lots, and other urban surfaces. This polluted water can harm aquatic ecosystems and pose a risk to public health.

Effective stormwater management can help reduce these impacts by slowing down the flow of stormwater, filtering out pollutants, and directing the water to appropriate locations. By doing so, we can protect our infrastructure, improve water quality, and preserve natural habitats.

Graf EcoBloc installation

How does stormwater management work?

Stormwater management systems consist of a network of structures and practices that work together to manage stormwater runoff. These systems can be categorized into two main types: traditional and green.

Traditional stormwater management

Traditional stormwater management practices include detention basins, retention ponds, and underground storage tanks. These systems are designed to capture and store stormwater runoff and release it slowly over time. This approach helps reduce the amount of runoff that enters the storm drain system and can help prevent flooding downstream.

Graf EcoBloc Stormwater Management solution

Green stormwater management

Green stormwater management practices, also known as low-impact development (LID), mimic natural hydrological processes to manage stormwater runoff. LID practices include green roofs, permeable pavement, rain gardens, bioswales, and tree trenches. These systems are designed to capture and infiltrate stormwater runoff into the ground, promoting groundwater recharge and reducing runoff volume.

One of the key benefits of green stormwater management is that it can reduce the amount of pollutants that enter our waterways. The vegetation and soils in these systems act as natural filters, removing pollutants from stormwater before it enters streams, rivers, and lakes.


Stormwater management is a critical process for protecting public health, maintaining water quality, preventing flooding, and preserving natural habitats. Effective stormwater management requires a combination of traditional and green practices to manage stormwater runoff in urban and suburban areas. By implementing these practices, we can improve the resilience of our infrastructure, protect our water resources, and enhance the quality of life in our communities.

To learn more about our stormwater management options, visit https://www.barrplastics.com/stormwater-retention-detention-management.html or call us at 1.800.665.4499.

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