Best management practices (BMPs) is a term used in the United States and Canada to describe a type of water pollution control. Historically the term has referred to auxiliary pollution controls in the fields of industrial wastewater control and municipal sewage control, while in stormwater management (both urban and rural) and wetland management, BMPs may refer to a principal control or treatment technique as well.
Beginning in the 20th century, designers of industrial and municipal sewage pollution controls typically utilized engineered systems (e.g. filters, clarifiers, biological reactors) to provide the central components of pollution control systems, and used the term "BMPs" to describe the supporting functions for these systems, such as operator training and equipment maintenance.
Stormwater management, as a specialized area within the field of environmental engineering, emerged later in the 20th century, and some practitioners have used the term BMP to describe both structural or engineered control devices and systems (e.g. retention ponds) to treat polluted stormwater, as well as operational or procedural practices (e.g. minimizing use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides). Other practitioners prefer to use the term Stormwater control measure, due to the varied definitions of the term "BMP" and its use in non-stormwater practice.
In implementing the CWA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defined BMP in the federal wastewater permit regulations, initially to refer to auxiliary procedures for industrial wastewater controls.
Later the Agency added a reference to stormwater management BMPs.
Industrial wastewater BMPs are considered an adjunct to engineered treatment systems. Typical BMPs include operator training, maintenance practices, and spill control procedures for treatment chemicals. There are also many BMPs available which are specific to particular industrial processes, for example:
Stormwater management BMPs are control measures taken to mitigate changes to both quantity and quality of urban runoff caused through changes to land use. Generally BMPs focus on water quality problems caused by increased impervious surfaces from land development. BMPs are designed to reduce stormwater volume, peak flows, and/or nonpoint source pollution through evapotranspiration, infiltration, detention, and filtration or biological and chemical actions. BMPs also can improve receiving-water quality by extending the duration of outflows in comparison to inflow duration (known as hydrograph extension), which dilutes the stormwater discharged into a larger volume of upstream flow.
Stormwater BMPs can be classified as "structural" (i.e., devices installed or constructed on a site like Sediment Control Fence, Rock Filter Dams, Erosion Control Logs, Excelsior Wattle, Sediment Traps and numerous other proprietary products) or "non-structural" (procedures, such as modified landscaping practices, soil disturbing activity scheduling, or street sweeping). There are a variety of BMPs available; selection typically depends on site characteristics and pollutant removal objectives. EPA has published a series of stormwater BMP fact sheets for use by local governments, builders and property owners.
Stormwater management BMPs can be also categorized into four basic types:
A best practice is a method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things, e.g., a standard way of complying with legal or ethical requirements.
Best practices are used to maintain quality as an alternative to mandatory legislated standards and can be based on self-assessment or benchmarking. Best practice is a feature of accredited management standards such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14001.Some consulting firms specialize in the area of best practice and offer pre-made templates to standardize business process documentation. Sometimes a best practice is not applicable or is inappropriate for a particular organization's needs. A key strategic talent required when applying best practice to organizations is the ability to balance the unique qualities of an organization with the practices that it has in common with others.
Good operating practice is a strategic management term. More specific uses of the term include good agricultural practices, good manufacturing practice, good laboratory practice, good clinical practice and good distribution practice.Detention basin
A detention basin or retarding basin is an excavated area installed on, or adjacent to, tributaries of rivers, streams, lakes or bays to protect against flooding and, in some cases, downstream erosion by storing water for a limited period of time. These basins are also called "dry ponds", "holding ponds" or "dry detention basins" if no permanent pool of water exists. Detention ponds that are designed to permanently retain some volume of water at all times are called retention basins. In its basic form, a detention basin is used to manage water quantity while having a limited effectiveness in protecting water quality, unless it includes a permanent pool feature.Drainage law
Drainage law is a specific area of water law related to drainage of surface water on real property. It is particularly important in areas where freshwater is scarce, flooding is common, or water is in high demand for agricultural or commercial purposes.Industrial wastewater treatment
Industrial wastewater treatment describes the processes used for treating wastewater that is produced by industries as an undesirable by-product. After treatment, the treated industrial wastewater (or effluent) may be reused or released to a sanitary sewer or to a surface water in the environment.
Most industries produce some wastewater. Recent trends have been to minimize such production or to recycle treated wastewater within the production process.Percolation trench
A percolation trench, also called an infiltration trench, is a type of best management practice (BMP) that is used to manage stormwater runoff, prevent flooding and downstream erosion, and improve water quality in an adjacent river, stream, lake or bay. It is a shallow excavated trench filled with gravel or crushed stone that is designed to infiltrate stormwater though permeable soils into the groundwater aquifer.A percolation trench is similar to a dry well, which is typically an excavated hole filled with gravel. Another similar drainage structure is a French drain, which directs water away from a building foundation, but is usually not designed to protect water quality.Stormwater detention vault
A stormwater detention vault is an underground structure designed to manage excess stormwater runoff on a developed site, often in an urban setting. This type of best management practice may be selected when there is insufficient space on the site to infiltrate the runoff or build a surface facility such as a detention basin or retention basin.Detention vaults manage stormwater quantity flowing to nearby surface waters. They help prevent flooding and can reduce erosion in rivers and streams. They do not provide treatment to improve water quality, though some are attached to a media filter bank to remove pollutants.Street sweeper
A street sweeper or street cleaner may refer to a person's occupation, or a machine that cleans streets. A street sweeper cleans the streets, usually in an urban area.
Street sweepers have been employed in cities since sanitation and waste removal became a priority. A street-sweeping person would use a broom and shovel to clean off litter, animal waste and filth that accumulated on streets. Later, water hoses were used to wash the streets.
Machines were created in the 19th century to do the job more efficiently. Today, modern street sweepers are mounted on truck bodies and can vacuum debris that accumulates in streets.
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