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What is Stormwater?

 Stormwater refers to a heavy quantity of water, such as rain or snow, that falls to the surface of the earth. When it reaches the surface, stormwater becomes polluted as it picks up, carries and transports various pollutants (oil, grease, chemicals, sediment, nutrients, pathogens) along streets, drains, open channels, and storm sewer systems. Most of the untreated runoff is eventually discharged into nearby water bodies. However, in combined sewer systems, stormwater flows with sewage and is treated at a wastewater treatment plant. 

In urban areas, stormwater management is especially important due to decreases in natural land cover and the expansion of impervious surfaces, such as rooftops, sidewalks and roadways. These surfaces exacerbate runoff because they change the permeability of the landscape—preventing rainwater from soaking in or infiltrating the soil. Some of the impacts of stormwater include flooding, sewer overflows, and non-point source pollution.

Stormwater is managed using storm sewers as well as stormwater controls, which include green infrastructure and low impact development.

Join the discussion about stormwater issues on WEF's LinkedIn Stormwater Group.  


Latest WEF Stormwater News 

For the latest in stormwater news, check out the Stormwater Report website or follow us on Twitter @WEFstormwater.




Recent Stormwater Report Features

 Year in Review: 2014 Under the Stormwater Lens 
 This year in review provides a look back at highlighted stormwater news and events that occurred throughout 2014.
 Stormwater Champions: Remaining Progressive a Decade Later 
 In the first of the Water Environment Federation’s new Stormwater Champions series, we interviewed Mike Rolband, founder of Wetland Studies and Solutions in Gainesville, Va.
 Defining Waters of the U.S. and the Effects on Stormwater 
 With comments due Nov. 14, this article examines points of intersection between the Waters of the U.S. proposed rule and the stormwater sector with viewpoints from stakeholders across the U.S.
 Ramping Up Erosion Control Training for Transportation Projects 
Colorado Department of Transportation's new erosion control training is complimented by a newly renovated facility for hands-on learning.
Innovative Financing Accelerates Stormwater Management 
Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. use innovative financing mechanisms to expand green stormwater infrastructure and meet water protection goals.
Monitoring and Modeling: Two Sides of a Coin 
Colorado is a headwaters state with pristine water quality from mountain streams. Low impact development (LID) is viewed as an option for maintaining those healthy waters and meeting high goals for receiving waters.



2015 Stormwater Congress
Chicago, Ill.
September 26 - 30


View more events 

Note: Proceedings from WEF events prior to 2011 are available to members at no cost on IngentaConnect. Proceedings from more recent events, including the 2013 Stormwater Congress and 2012 Stormwater Symposium, are available for sale at  E-WEF



 Countries throughout the world have made strides in stormwater control, however the market remains underdeveloped – yet poised for major growth. World Water: Stormwater Management will cover this emerging global market.  A quarterly international magazine by the Water Environment Federation Publishing UK Ltd. The magazine is dedicated to all topics stormwater, from research to policy to technology solutions. Subscribe to the print version or find complimentary copies online.



A workgroup dedicated to the investigation of a national stormwater testing and evaluation program.  Learn more about the effort, and check out the white paper, "Investigation into the Feasibility of a National Testing and Evaluation Program for Stormwater Products and Practices."




 WEF collected the videos on StormTV through the Stormwater Call for Media, an effort to share innovative stormwater projects through pictures and video. WEF does not endorse the services, products, or projects featured in the listed videos. Watch these and a growing list of videos on the stormwater playlist featured on the Water Environment Federation’s YouTube channel.



Select Stormwater Resources


 Green Infrastructure Implementation 
The book provides actionable information promoting the implementation of green infrastructure. Unlike most publications, which focus on technical design of individual green elements, this peer-reviewed book tackles topics related directly to the ability to implement green infrastructure
 Wet Weather Design and Operation in Water Resource Recovery Facilities 
This peer-reviewed publication provides water professionals with a comprehensive reference of current design and operational practices for managing the unique challenges associated with wet weather flows.
User-Fee-Funded Stormwater Programs   
A must-read for agencies and public works departments interested in developing charge systems for stormwater programs based on fee structures.
Design of Urban Stormwater Controls (MOP 23) 
Developed by WEF and ASCE, this MOP focuses on consolidating technologies under a comprehensive view of stormwater management in an attempt to foster a convergence between traditional stormwater controls and green infrastructure.




Another 100-Year Storm Modern Rainfall Patterns and Management Strategies   
 Green Infrastructure: Economic, Social, Technical, and Policy Overview From the Regulatory, Academic, and Consulting Viewpoint  
More courses available in the WEF Knowledge Center in partnership with Stormwater ONE! 




Webcast Recordings 

Viewpoints: Potential Impacts of Waters of the U.S. Rulemaking on Stormwater Infrastructure  
Investigation of a National Program to Test and Evaluate Stormwater Products and Practices 
Innovative Approaches to Financing and Funding Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Investments 
 Linking Stormwater BMP Performance to Receiving Water Protection: Improving Selection and Design 



For members - download webcasts older than one year in the WEFCOM Webcasts & Online Courses community


More Resources to Share 

Click here to see the most recent in reports published in the stormwater sector.


Opportunities for Involvement: WEF Committees 



 Visit these committees on WEFCOM! > Get Instructions here  



Stormwater Committee 
WEF staff contact: Rebecca Arvin-Colon
Tel: 703-684-2400 x7017  
WEFCOM Stormwater Community 



Watershed Management Committee 
WEF staff contact: Rebecca Arvin-Colon
Tel: 703-684-2400 x7017
WEFCOM Watersheds Community 



Collection Systems Committee
WEF staff contact: Bri Nakamura
Tel: 703-684-2439 
WEFCOM Collection Systems Community