Tuesday, September 25, 2012

EPA Set To Release New Tool Called The National Stormwater Calculator (SWC)

When heavy rain hits the pavement of a large parking lot it can create havoc when the flood of runoff overwhelms nearby drainage sewers.  The EPA is developing a tool that will give planners and property developers green infrastructure options that can alleviate this runoff burden.  Measures such as rain gardens, rain barrels, and designing natural areas that absorb rainwater can help with the issues associated with stormwater drainage.  Users of the National Stormwater Calculator (SWC) will be able to access a number of databases to determine local soil and weather conditions for their chosen site.   They can then estimate the annual amount and frequency of stormwater runoff for a specific site based on historical rainfall records and predict the potential impact of implementing green infrastructure options.

The National Stormwater Calculator is in the final stages of review and will be available on EPA’s “Models, Databases and Tools for Water Resource Protection” website when completed.

Read about how planners and watershed administrators came up with an innovative method to control phosphorus and sediment runoff on a 70 acre shopping mall parking lot in Minnesota here.