Applicability of BMPs for cold climate use
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BMP Family BMP Classification Notes
PollutionPrevention Housekeeping practices Yes Focus on rapid clean-up of paved surfaces after snowmelt
Atmospheric control Marginal Control of auto emissions and industrial output usually not under local control, but exposed winter soils are controllable
Chemical controls Yes Salt management and chemical spill control can be local programs
Animal waste management Yes Strict waste control can be covered in local ordinance
Streambank stabilization Yes Attention to local erosion sites can reduce ice damage and sediment load from high spring flows
Runoff Volume Minimization Natural area conservation Yes Preserving pervious areas for meltwater to infiltrate is effective way to control volume
Soil amendments Marginal Enhancing soil permeability will increase infiltration of meltwater
Reduction of impervious surface Yes Preserving pervious areas for meltwater to infiltrate is effective way to control volume and to minimize mobilization of pollutants
Grass drainage channel Yes Routing meltwater over a pervious surface will yield some reduction in flow and improved water quality
Rain barrel/cistern Marginal Capturing meltwater from a building will reduce volume but ice build-up could be a problem unless collection occurs below frostline
Permeable pavement/blocks Yes Recent research has shown this approach to be successful in cold climates when properly installed and maintained, and when sanding kept to a minimum
Soakaway pit/drywell (designed so as not to qualify as a Class V injection well) Yes Effective as long as system is installed below the frostline to avoid ice build-up
Stormwater planter Marginal These are designed more for the growing season, but they do provide a sump area for runoff to collect and will infiltrate some of the volume
Rooftop garden Yes Recent research has shown that slow melting in the spring reduces the volume running off of roof surfaces
Temporary Construction Sediment Control Preconstruction planning Yes Focus on sequencing to avoid open soils during winter and on limited grading prior to freeze-up
Resource protection Yes Buffers reduce runoff by providing infiltration potential
Runoff control Yes Stable drainageways and sediment basins assure erosion control and provide storage opportunities for spring meltwater
Perimeter control Yes These practices are especially effective during winter construction
Slope stabilization Yes These must be installed prior to freeze-up to be effective; they must be checked often and maintained all winter
Stabilized soil Marginal Seeding, blankets and sprayed stabilizers must all be in place and working before freeze-up; if necessary, blankets can be laid and held in place with sandbags or rock logs
Inspection and maintenance Yes Essential for proper operation all winter
Bioretention Rain garden Marginal By definition, these are growing season practices, but they do provide a sump area for storage and some infiltration during a melt
Depressed parking islands Yes These can provide needed storage during the cold season and for spring runoff events; vegetation will not be a factor during winter
Filtration Media filter Yes-to marginal Surface systems need to be fully dry before freezeup for these to work properly; sub-grade systems can be very effective for meltwater treatment
Surface vegetative filter Marginal Vegetative filtering is reduced once vegetation dies back in the fall; some physical filtering will occur if vegetation density and depth are sufficient
Combination filter Yes-to marginal See comments above
Infiltration Trench Yes with caution Effective when designed, installed and maintained properly; caution applies to limitations on source area to avoid high concentrations of Cl and toxics
Basin Yes with caution See above comment
Stormwater Ponds Forebay Yes Effective if designed with enough available volume to accommodate meltwater in the spring
Storage components Yes Adaptations must be made to allow meltwater runoff to receive appropriate amount of treatment (see discussion following in this section); treatment effectiveness usually lower than warm weather
Outlet Yes Proper design of the outlet structure can be the key to ponding effectiv
Constructed Wetlands Forebay Yes See comment for forebay above
Storage components Yes-to marginal Volume will be less than typical pond, but provide location for storage, some infiltration, filtration and some microbial activity; biological activity at a minimum
Supplemental Treatment Proprietary sediment removal Yes These devices are typically installed below ground and below the frostline, and can be effective in treating sediment-laden spring runoff
Catch basin insert Marginal The location of these in a very cold location often leads to icing conditions; can be marginally effective for solids even if frozen
Wet vault Yes See comment for proprietary devices
Chemical treatment Yes These systems are designed to inject treatment chemicals for all flows
Floatable skimmer Yes-to-marginal Proper installation of a floatable skimmer or baffle weir will allow water to pass even when thick ice is present; draws water from below ice layers
Sorbents Yes These absorb chemicals usually in sub-grade systems
Thermal protections No Do not apply to winter conditions
Biological additives Yes See comment for chemical treatment

This page was last edited on 5 August 2022, at 12:24.