Stormwater BMPs are becoming commonly used throughout the United States. One of the questions facing design engineers and developers is what is the optimum practice to select for a particular watershed size, land cost, and target pollutant. Pollutant removal efficiencies using regional
data were collected to determine median pollutant removal rates for four different BMPs: wet ponds, stormwater wetlands, sand filters, and bioretention areas. The target pollutants studied are TSS, TP, and NO3−. Construction and maintenance costs were found for
over 40 BMPs in North Carolina. A simple tool is presented that links the removal efficiencies of BMPs to their associated costs (land, maintenance, and construction). The analysis finds that (1) bio-retention is most often the most cost-effective BMP for small mostly impermeable watersheds,
(2) the cost-effectiveness of stormwater wetlands and wet ponds are comparable when including land and opportunity costs, and (3) economies of scale exist.
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