Stormwater Management Overview


What is stormwater?

Stormwater is rain that lands on rooftops, roads, and sidewalks that runs over the land and into our stormwater sewer system, instead of soaking into the soil.

The Problem

The increase in hard, impermeable surfaces (e.g. roads, sidewalks, roofs etc.) associated with urban development and expansion can greatly increase the amount of stormwater runoff, how fast it moves, and the pollutants it picks up along the way.

The traditional approach to dealing with stormwater was simply to move it away as quickly as possible through pipes and engineered waterways. However, dealing with this large volume of fast moving, often polluted water can cause many problems, including:

  • Erosion and flooding
  • Degraded water quality
  • Ecological damage and habitat loss
  • Expensive stormwater sewer system upgrades

These issues are likely to grow much more challenging in the future due to two increasing pressures:

  • Population growth, leading to more development and densification, and;
  • Climate change, resulting in more severe storms.

Effects of Increasing Urbanization

Integrated Solutions

The solution to this problem is to integrate stormwater planning with land use and environmental protection. This integrated approach has many advantages, including:

  • Prevents problems rather than responds to them (proactive)
  • Protects property and other lands
  • Maximizes all community values, not just the removal of stormwater
  • Improved ecological health
  • Lower overall cost
New Approach to Stormwater Management
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