What is Stormwater Runoff?
When water falls to earth as rain or snow most of it seeps into the ground. However, if the ground is saturated, frozen, or covered with impervious surfaces, precipitation flows over the land, creating stormwater runoff. It occurs everywhere and includes flows from storm drains and natural drainage courses serving industrial, commercial, residential, undeveloped, recreational, and agricultural lands. It can cause flooding, erosion, and pollution problems (Rouge River, 1995).
What is Stormwater Management?
Stormwater management is the process of controlling and processing runoff so it does not harm the environment or human health. Fundamental goals of stormwater management are to mimic the way runoff left the site before development and to prevent water pollution (ODNR, 1996).
Stormwater Management in Ohio
Standard practices for stormwater management for Ohio can be found in Rainwater and Land Development: Ohio’s Standards for Stormwater Management Land Development and Urban Stream Protection (ODNR, 1996). This publication offers a source of general standards that can be implemented as land is being developed. In Ohio, municipalities, townships, and counties all have authority to regulate stormwater. Ohio EPA administers the state regulations requiring stormwater permits for construction sites and the Phase I and Phase II stormwater regulations. The Phase I regulations cover municipal separate storm sewer systems serving a population of 100,000 or greater. Phase II regulations will cover small municipal separate storm sewer systems in urbanized areas not covered under Phase I regulations. (For more information see USEPA Storm Water Phase II Proposed Rule Factsheets.) Both sets of regulations require owners and operators of municipal separate storm water systems in urbanized areas and construction sites to implement programs and practices to control polluted stormwater runoff.
Ohio statutes generally delegate land use planning to citizen planning commissions. They are charged with the formation of comprehensive plans, review of subdivisions, recommendations on zoning changes, and review of long-range capital improvement projects. Members of these commissions are appointed by elected officials. The Ohio Revised Code and some municipality charters place one or more elected officials on the city or village planning commission (Meck and Pearlman, 1999).
Bioretention Area Drawing
Booth, Derek B. 1999. "Field Evaluation of Permeable Pavement Systems for Improved Stormwater Management." Journal of the American Planning Association. Vol. 65, No. 3. Summer.
Ferguson, B. 1999. Introduction to Stormwater. John Wiley & Sons. Canada.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources. 1996. Rainwater and Land Development: Ohio’s Standards for Stormwater Management Land Development and Urban Stream Protection.
Meck Stuart, & Pearlman, Kenneth. 1999 Edition. Ohio Planning and Zoning Law. West Group, Cleveland Ohio.
Richman, Tom. 1999. Vegetated Swales. Latis. American Society of Landscape Architects, Washington, DC.
Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Project Number 1. 1995. Demo Bulletin Stormwater Management.
University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service. 1995. Reviewing Site Plans for Stormwater Management. NEMO project Fact Sheet 7.
USEPA, 1999. Stormwater Phase II Proposed Rule Fact Sheet Series. http://www.epa.gov/owm/sw/pahse 2/index.htm
Acknowledgments to Fred Michel and Timothy Lawrence, Department of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Engineering, The Ohio State University, their review of this fact sheet.
© The University of Connecticut publications with modifications and additions by Anne Baird and Timothy Lawrence, Ohio University Extension.