Stormwater Management

Typically, on construction sites as well as on streets, driveways, sidewalks and parking lots in general, you just want water to “go away”. It's more complicated than that because it is not just how clean the water is when it leaves your site, its also how much water is leaving your site… both during and after construction.

The key problems are:

  • Increased runoff volume and velocity that causes erosion
  • Increased peak flows (“flashiness” that scours stream channels)
  • Higher levels of sediment and other pollutants in the runoff

The major strategies are to minimize runoff (water) from construction site and to keep the runoff water as clean as possible.

  • Let rainwater and snowmelt soak into the ground slowly – remember that snow melts
  • Minimize bare unvegetated ground; native vegetation is usually better than decorative grass.
  • Minimize impervious surfaces
  • The less active management a BMP (Best Management Practice) requires to properly operate, the better – less maintenance cost as well
Erosion Control =
Preventing (or minimizing) the dislodgment of soil particles
Sediment Control =
Controlling soil movement resulting from failed erosion control practices

More info about site construction BMPs in Northeast Minnesota:

[3.9 MB pdf]

Visit the South St. Louis County SWCD and the MPCA for more specific information.

For training:

Minnesota Erosion Control Association U of MN Erosion and Sediment Control Certification Program U of MN Extension "Stormwater U"'s main goal is to promote environmentally sound Water Resources Management & Policy best practices among stormwater professionals: contractors, developers, engineers, and field staff through locally tailored workshops. UMD SWPPP South St. Louis County Soil & Water Conservation District

Direct links to other useful sources of information:



Roads, Highways and Bridges

Center for Watershed Protection

Urban Watershed Forestry Manual
Stormwater Design Toolbox

Local Road Research Board Erosion Control Handbook for Local Roads (2.5 MB pdf, 122 pages)

International Erosion Control Association