Stormwater Cycle

Most elementary school–age children can tell you about the water cycle, the never-ending process of evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and infiltration. But few people think about how development and construction have a direct effect on this process — at least, not until there’s an issue like flooding or pollution.

R+R’s expertise ensures that, even in developed areas, the water cycle is effectively promoted and controlled to preserve water quantity and water quality.

Stormwater

Stormwater is just another way of referring to the runoff from precipitation events. This stormwater collects from roofs and yards, gutters and storm drains, as well as from natural formations. But with increased development comes an increase in paved and impermeable areas, which decreases infiltration and ultimately creates higher volumes of surface runoff that can have detrimental effects downstream.

SCM + BMP

Stormwater control measures (SCMs) — sometimes referred to as stormwater best management practices (BMPs) — are engineered systems designed to manage stormwater runoff. These SCMs can vary depending on whether they are aboveground or underground, and the needs of the site. The purpose of all SCMs, though, is to maintain or improve upon the pre-development conditions downstream and lessen the impact related to increased runoff volumes.

Quantity + Quality

The two fundamental characteristics of stormwater are water quantity and water quality.

Water quantity is the volume of water that leaves the site during or after a storm event, which can include surface runoff, infiltration, and groundwater recharge. Well designed SCMs systems provide temporary storage, promote infiltration, and release stormwater at a rate close or equal to the pre-developed conditions of the site.

Water quality measures the chemical, biological, and physical composition of runoff. Any pollutants or contaminants that are dissolved or suspended in stormwater can impact ecosystems and pose a threat to human health. The treatment elements of a well maintained SCM system will filter and improve the water quality before it leaves the site.

Ask us more about our stormwater expertise.