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The EPA Phase II storm water regulations … TMDL s … Individual watershedmanagement plans … An ever growing number of initiatives require post construction measures to protect the integrity of our rivers, lakes, and streams from the impacts of urban development. But the most wonderful strategies, Best Management Practices (BMPs), and conservation ideas will never make it from “plan” to “program” without a specific set of criteria or guidelines that can be readily used by the local municipality and the engineering community.

Storm water management for the Twenty-First Century includes not only flood control, but stream protection, groundwater recharge, and both surface and groundwater quality protection. A well structured design criteria manual includes simplification of complex engineering and geomorphologic concepts into equations, graphs, tables, decision flow charts, sample forms, concise checklists, illustrations, and design examples that can be applied by the average user. This paper illustrates some of the standards and storm water design criteria developed to achieve a truly comprehensive approach to water resource protection using case studies from three communities in the State of Michigan.

Case Studies

Grand Traverse County is located in northern Michigan adjacent to Grand Traverse Bay, and hosts numerous resort communities. The Grand Traverse County Drain Commissioner was a leader in the Baby your Bay initiative to improve and protect the water quality of Grand Traverse Bay, which is one of Lake Michigan s premier recreational resources. In 1992 Grand Traverse County was the first county in Michigan to pass a county-wide storm water ordinance, which has been updated to include current technical guidelines and managerial practices for a most comprehensive approach to water resource protection.

Montcalm County is a primarily rural county located to the north of the Grand Rapids metropolitan area in west Michigan. Suburban growth is indicative of this region, and is occurring at a significant rate in surrounding counties. The Montcalm County Drain Commissioner adopted storm water and drainage rules that incorporated watershed management concepts on a county-wide basis.

The City of Portage is located in Kalamazoo County in southwest Michigan. Portage is a progressive community with a vulnerable groundwater aquifer from which they extract their public drinking water supply, support a major pharmaceutical industry, and supplement a chain of popular recreational lakes. Storm water rules were developed to incorporate well field zones of influence and high risk zoning districts in regard to groundwater contamination, while maximizing the use of infiltration practices.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2004

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