West Chester University


Water Conservation: Land & Buildings

The Urban Small Sites Best Management Practice (BMP) Manual includes detailed information on 40 BMPs that are aimed at managing stormwater pollution for small urban sites in a cold-climate setting. The goal of the manual is to support the principles of accommodating growth while preserving the environment. This BMP manual is an excellent starting point for understanding the range of options available for improved stewardship of our water and can be downloaded here.

Green roofs are highly effective in reducing total runoff volume. Simple vegetated roof covers, with approximately 3 inches of substrate can reduce annual runoff by more than 50 percent in temperate climates (Miller, 2000). Research in Germany shows that the 3-inch design offers the highest benefit to cost ratio. Properly designed systems not only reduce runoff flows, but also can be added to existing rooftops without additional reinforcement or structural design requirements. The value of green roofs for reducing runoff is directly linked to the design rainfall event considered. Design should be developed for the storm events that most significantly contribute to CSOs, hydraulic overloads and runoff problems for a given area.

Pervious pavement is designed to allow percolation or infiltration of stormwater through the surface into the soil below where the water is naturally filtered and pollutants are removed. In contrast normal pavement is an impervious surface that sheds rainfall and associated surface pollutants forcing the water to run off paved surfaces directly into nearby storm drains and then into streams and lakes.

Exton Edge
Parking lot with edge treatment providing point of entry to infiltration bed below.

Morris Drive
Parking lot with pervious paving at parking spaces only, providing point of entry to infiltration bed below; travel lane is standard paving.

Here are a few links of interest