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Public Lab Wiki documentation

Stormwater Monitoring

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Stormwater is excess runoff from rain and snowmelt events that flows over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground.

Some of the concerns around stormwater are that "the runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters" -- and human health. Source: EPA Stormwater Program

Lead image from Dr. Gloria Horning's work

How is stormwater regulated?

Stormwater is one of the pollutants that is regulated under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). "The NPDES stormwater program regulates some stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, and industrial activities."

How is stormwater monitored?

Monitoring for stormwater can be challenging. Monitoring activities could explore facets of stormwater such as:

  • The depth and duration of standing water in an area,
  • How much rainwater can be harvested from an area,
  • How much water can be absorbed by an area,
  • How different ground covers react to stormwater events, and
  • How well infrastructure is working to handle stormwater runoff.

This page was created to compile some activities, questions, updates and projects surrounding issues of stormwater. Click the links below to add to this growing resource!

Stormwater Activities

Frequently Asked Questions

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
What can you do about oil in your ditch following a natural disaster when traditional resources/normal pathways are not available? @laurel_mire about 1 month ago 11
How do you build a rain barrel? @stevie almost 2 years ago 1
Where can you find historic flooding data? @stevie over 3 years ago 3
Who do you contact on stormwater concerns? @stevie over 3 years ago 2
How do you keep storm drains clean? @stevie over 3 years ago 3
Why is it important to keep storm drains clean? @stevie over 3 years ago 3
What are sources of stormwater pollution? @stevie over 3 years ago 2
Are there any good directions or materials for building rain gauges? @stevie over 3 years ago 3
How do I join a volunteer Disaster Response Team for flooding? @warren about 4 years ago 1
What tags are helpful for flood/disaster images? @zengirl2 about 4 years ago 0
Are there any exemptions under the NPDES? @stevie over 4 years ago 5
What types of NPDES permits are there? @stevie over 4 years ago 3
How is stormwater regulated? @stevie over 4 years ago 4
How does slope affect runoff calculations? @stevie over 4 years ago 1
Is there any way to figure out how much water can be absorbed by different ground covers? @stevie almost 5 years ago 5
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Ask a question  or help answer future questions on this topic


Title Author Updated Likes Comments
Getting the scoop on Wastewater: Summary of a research area review @bhamster 10 days ago 1
El desagüe sospechoso en el río Suquía @alejobonifacio 12 days ago 0
EVENT: Wondering about Wastewater? Join us for a series of events to wrap up Public Lab’s latest research area review! @bhamster about 1 month ago 8
How to report pollution entering your local stormwater system in the US @bhamster about 1 month ago 5
I asked an environmental planner, “What do you want people to know about stormwater?” @bhamster about 1 month ago 0
Post your photos of possible wastewater pollution! / ¡Postea tus fotos de aguas posiblemente residuales! 📷 @bhamster 2 months ago 2
Summary of Water and Water community call @alejobonifacio 3 months ago 0
¿Cómo detectar abrillantadores ópticos (aguas residuales) yendo a un río? / How to detect optical brighteners (wastewater) going to a river? @alejobonifacio 3 months ago 7
Reviewing and refreshing the topic of wastewater @bhamster 3 months ago 1
Event! Welcome to a public research area review on wastewater, July 27 @bhamster 3 months ago 9
Potholes in New Orleans Annotated Map Update @Rgaude 6 months ago 0
Potholes in New Orleans Balloon Mapping Experience @Rgaude 6 months ago 0
MapKnitter map of STEM Magnet Program for New Orleans Pothole Research @Rgaude 6 months ago 0
Seeking a Water Research Curation Fellow @bhamster 6 months ago 0
Cleaning Storm Drains @LivingstonChangeMakerClub 7 months ago 4
How to Get Street Trees for your Community @WendyBrawer over 1 year ago 3
What actions can residents take to use environmental data to make an impact in their community? @jessicac almost 2 years ago 6
Rain Garden: Finding a Location @k_c_s almost 2 years ago 1
Rain Garden and Runoff @k_c_s almost 2 years ago 4
Environmental Study for flooding in the streets of New Orleans @JumpKitten8683 almost 2 years ago 5
Rain-garden research update @TJohnson about 2 years ago 0
Make an accurate soda bottle rain gauge @stevie about 2 years ago 4
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Project Pages

Lead image from Commons Wikimedia