Guidebook Details Control of Urban Runoff Pollution

EPA has released a guidebook on managing runoff pollution caused by urban activities. National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Urban Areas is an information source for states and cities to use in their pollution-management programs for protecting waterways.

Nonpoint source pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many sources. They include contaminated runoff from paved surfaces, malfunctioning septic systems, pet wastes, over-applied fertilizers and pesticides, improperly disposed household chemicals and motor-vehicle fluids.

"Our guidance is a textbook and toolkit for cooperative conservation and sustainable management of urban and suburban runoff," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for water. "Storm water pollution can harm surface and groundwater, but this guidebook identifies effective ways to reduce pollution and increase low impact development."

Twelve management measures have been included in the guidebook. Such measures can help establish performance goals for storm water control programs. They are also useful in determining what to do to minimize other negative factors associated with urban runoff.

The management measures provide details about setting up a framework to manage urban pollution, including storm water management. Also included are subjects such as:

-watershed and site protection

-new development

-on-site wastewater treatment (septic) systems


-construction, bridges and highways

-construction site erosion, sediment and chemical control

-existing urban areas

-pollution prevention

-operation and maintenance

-program evaluation.