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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. paraphrased from EPA
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.

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

Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
Catch Basins 101: How to clean a catch basin with one person in 68 minutes. - - @dmunchak - - 0 replications: Try it »
Photo Documentation of Turbid Waters for Advocacy - - @gretchengehrke - - 0 replications: Try it »
How to visually document a site - - @stevie - - 1 replications: Try it »
Stormwater Workshop Two Report: Community Mapping - - @stevie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Measuring water in a rain gauge - - @stevie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Make an accurate soda bottle rain gauge - - @stevie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Testing - water depth from camera image - - @chalmers - - 0 replications: Try it »
Stormwater Workshop 3 Report: Designing a Stormwater Study - - @stevie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Depth Sensor Proposal - - @danbeavers - - 1 replications: Try it »
Gathering rain data from weather underground - - @stevie - - 0 replications: Try it »
How to determine peak discharge from drainage basin runoff - - @stevie - - 0 replications: Try it »
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Add an activity  or request an activity guide you don't see listed

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
How do you build a rain barrel? @stevie 7 months ago 1
Where can you find historic flooding data? @stevie almost 2 years ago 3
Who do you contact on stormwater concerns? @stevie almost 2 years ago 1
How do you keep storm drains clean? @stevie almost 2 years ago 3
Why is it important to keep storm drains clean? @stevie almost 2 years ago 3
What are sources of stormwater pollution? @stevie almost 2 years ago 2
Are there any good directions or materials for building rain gauges? @stevie about 2 years ago 3
How do I join a volunteer Disaster Response Team for flooding? @warren over 2 years ago 1
What tags are helpful for flood/disaster images? @zengirl2 over 2 years ago 0
Are there any exemptions under the NPDES? @stevie over 3 years ago 4
What types of NPDES permits are there? @stevie over 3 years ago 3
How is stormwater regulated? @stevie over 3 years ago 3
How does slope affect runoff calculations? @stevie over 3 years ago 1
Is there any way to figure out how much water can be absorbed by different ground covers? @stevie over 3 years ago 5
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Ask a question  or help answer future questions on this topic


Updates

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
How to Get Street Trees for your Community @WendyBrawer 4 months ago 2
What actions can residents take to use environmental data to make an impact in their community? @jessicac 6 months ago 6
Rain Garden: Finding a Location @k_c_s 7 months ago 1
Rain Garden and Runoff @k_c_s 7 months ago 4
Environmental Study for flooding in the streets of New Orleans @JumpKitten8683 7 months ago 2
Rain-garden research update @TJohnson 8 months ago 0
Make an accurate soda bottle rain gauge @stevie 8 months ago 3
Blocking New Orleans Gutters @JumpKitten8683 8 months ago 0
New Orleans Clogged Storm Drains @wisegrey 9 months ago 2
People Vs. Storm Drains @lukecollins 9 months ago 1
Diverging street flooding @Athan_Nelson 9 months ago 1
Collecting data about Stormwater Issues through Citizen Science @panicpuri 9 months ago 9
Fighting the Flood: Community Activism and Education in Pensacola @joyofsoy over 1 year ago 4
Recharging New Orleans: Rain Barrels and Environmental Justice @joyofsoy over 1 year ago 1
Event: Oct 24, 2018 Crowdsourcing Stormwater Solutions at The Nature Conservancy @nwhysel over 1 year ago 2
Rain Barrel and Rain Gauge Build with 7th Ward Residents @stevie almost 2 years ago 6
Pensacola Stormwater @stevie almost 2 years ago 0
How to Get Excited About Climate Change Prep #climatechange #science #citizenscience @zengirl2 about 2 years ago 3
Water Wise NOLA Rain Barrel Build! @stevie over 2 years ago 0
Waterway Vulnerability to Agricultural and Feedlot Practices @gilbert over 2 years ago 2
How MIT Is Using Social Media to Map Hurricane Flooding @zengirl2 over 2 years ago 0
Report-back from second Open Call on Hurricane Harvey response and coordination @warren over 2 years ago 0
Catch Basins 101: How to clean a catch basin with one person in 68 minutes. @dmunchak almost 3 years ago 10
Report-back from Open Call on Hurricane Harvey response and coordination @warren almost 3 years ago 3
Exploring New Stormwater Monitoring Methods @stevie almost 3 years ago 0
Stormwater Workshop 6: Monitoring and Lessons Learned @stevie almost 3 years ago 1
Stormwater Workshop 4 Report: Implementing a Stormwater Study @stevie almost 3 years ago 0
Gathering rain data from weather underground @stevie almost 3 years ago 1
Measuring water in a rain gauge @stevie almost 3 years ago 0
Stormwater Workshop 3 Report: Designing a Stormwater Study @stevie about 3 years ago 0
Stormwater Workshop Two Report: Community Mapping @stevie about 3 years ago 1
Public Lab Community Newsletter: March 2017 @klie about 3 years ago 0
Introduction to Stormwater Workshop 1 Report @stevie about 3 years ago 0
How to visually document a site @stevie about 3 years ago 1
Public Lab Community Newsletter: February 2017 @klie over 3 years ago 0
Testing - water depth from camera image @chalmers over 3 years ago 4
Stormwater Workshop Series in New Orleans! @stevie over 3 years ago 2
How to determine peak discharge from drainage basin runoff @stevie over 3 years ago 0
Pollutant Discharge Permits @mlamadrid over 3 years ago 0
Enforcing Stormwater Permits with Google Street View along the Mystic River @mathew over 3 years ago 1
Reflecting on the Depth Sensor Build @stevie almost 4 years ago 0
Depth Sensor Proposal @danbeavers about 4 years ago 3
North Shore Community Resiliency Assessment Memorandum @liz over 4 years ago 0
Photo Documentation of Turbid Waters for Advocacy @gretchengehrke over 4 years ago 2
The Water Hackathon Report @stevie over 5 years ago 0
New Orleans City Park Stormwater wetland @eustatic over 6 years ago 4
Jakarta Flood Kite Mapping @willie over 6 years ago 4
Obliques of City Park Stormwater wetland Nov 9th @eustatic over 6 years ago 5
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Project Pages

Lead image from Commons Wikimedia