Bigger and better Stormwater BMP database

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There is no end to the creativity in stormwater management programs. A newly designed website now makes it much easier for stormwater professionals to evaluate best management practices (BMPs), to make sure that their creativity produces an effective and reliable system.

Improvements in the International Stormwater BMP Database were recently unveiled by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and its partners. It will better enable BMP searches, data collection and uploading, and access to BMP performance analyses.

Everyone from public officials and municipal stormwater managers to designers and researchers will discover significant enhancements.

More data. With the recent addition of 65 new BMP studies, the database now includes over 300 studies.

New data analysis results. A new analysis of all the BMPs in the database identifies how different BMP types performed in removing a variety of pollutants. The performance descriptions can assess achievable effluent concentrations, assess effects of BMPs on total loadings (i.e., TMDLs), and identify the frequency of potential exceedances of water quality criteria or other targets.

Website upgrade. A new website provides ease of navigation based on the type of user. Data retrieval tools have been improved.

Simplified data entry. New Excel-based data entry spreadsheets, a corresponding user's guide, and a data upload tool simplify data collection and entry from data providers.

Additional data partners. The project is working with large data providers to 'open the pipeline' of BMP study submissions. Several large data providers are using or adapting the database as their data storage tool and are regularly providing information to the database.

U.S. EPA collaboration. The project is providing support to U.S. EPA through its Urban BMP Performance Tool, a search engine offered on EPA's stormwater NPDES program website. The EPA website links to the database site for more detailed BMP study information.

Information dissemination. The project continues to distribute findings from the database and remains a reliable source of information. Two recent articles include '15 Reasons You Should Think Twice Before Using Percent Removal to Assess BMP Performance' and 'Can Stormwater BMPs Remove Bacteria?' in the Jan. and May issues of Stormwater Magazine, respectively.

The BMP database provides scientifically sound information to improve the design, selection, and performance of BMPs. The program is supported by WERF, U.S. EPA, the Environmental and Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, and the American Public Works Association. The results, tools and information noted above are all available from the database website.

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