Stormwater Management

Stormwater Management is a mechanism for controlling stormwater runoff (precipitation that does not infiltrate into the ground, but rather, flows into surface water). These practices are incorporated into the design of a development to mitigate any impacts the development may have on the aquatic environment.

SWM Facility (Stafford County, VA)

Stormwater management practices address two major issues, the quantity or volume of stormwater and the quality of the stormwater.

Stormwater Quantity

Pervious (or vegetated) surfaces, such as fields, meadows, and woodlands absorb and infiltrate rainfall and generate little runoff. As land develops, these areas are typically covered with impervious surfaces, such as pavement and rooftops. These impervious surfaces generate more runoff every time it rains. The quantity of runoff from these areas can overwhelm natural channels and streams. Stormwater management practices are designed to offset these increases in runoff. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has more information on managing runoff. 

Stormwater Quality

The pervious and impervious surfaces in the urbanized landscape collect pollutants, such as automobile oil, grease, brake pad dust, sediment from construction sites, bacteria from animal waste, excess lawn care fertilizers and pesticides, as well as atmospheric deposition of phosphorus, nitrogen, and other airborne pollutants. Rainfall washes these surfaces so that the initial flush of runoff can carry high concentrations of these pollutants to nearby drinking water supplies, waterways, beaches, and properties. Pollution washed from the land surface by rainfall is called nonpoint source pollution.

Stormwater management practices also provide water quality treatment to help prevent additional pollution from entering streams and rivers. Stafford County is located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, where protecting water quality is very important.

Contact Information

If you have a concern or complaint, please call the Stormwater Pollution Hotline at (540) 658-8830.