Storm Water Terms A - H

  • Best Management Practices (BMPs)
    Schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures, and other management practices to prevent or reduce the potential for storm water pollution. BMPs also include treatment requirements, operating procedures, and practices to control runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or waste disposal, or drainage from raw material storage.

    BMPs are not just the control measures implemented to prevent pollution. They also include educating the public to recognize and respond appropriately to improper activities, as well as keeping records and creating useful reports.
  • Contaminated
    Containing a harmful quantity of any substance.

    People involved in environmental chemistry have a saying, the dose makes the poison! Meaning too much of anything can be harmful. There have been people who have died from drinking too much water. But for the most part, we are concerned with substances that are harmful in very small quantities, or materials that can be introduced to our waterways in large quantities and result in impaired water quality.
  • Discharge
    Addition or introduction of any pollutant, storm water, or any other substance whatsoever into the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), into the Waters of the State, or into Waters of the United States.

    To many people, a discharge comes from the end of a pipe. But this description is beginning to change. An area of bare of earth, or an area draining a large construction site can discharge pollutants into nearby streams or onto nearby roads. There are measures that can be taken to prevent this from happening. Keeping harmful discharges out of water bodies is one of the goals of the Storm Water Program.
  • Harmful Quantity
    An amount of any substance that will cause pollution of the waters in the State, Waters of the United States, or that will cause sub-lethal adverse effects on representative, sensitive monitoring organisms upon their exposure to samples of any discharge into Waters in the State, Water of the United States, or the MS4.

    Like the term contaminated, this varies depending on the substance. Some materials can be added in large quantities, while others are much more toxic and have very low allowable limits, or are not allowed at all!!