Filtering practices include media filters (surface, underground, perimeter), vegetative filters (filter strips, grass channels), and combination media/vegetative filters (dry swales). Media and media/vegetative filters operate similarly and provide comparable water quality capabilities as bioretention. Vegetative filters are generally more suitable as pre-treatment practices, but in some situations can be used on a stand alone basis.
Filtering practices have widespread applicability and are suitable for all land uses, as long as the contributing drainage areas are limited (e.g., typically less than 5 acres). Media filters are not as aesthetically appealing as bioretention, which makes them more appropriate for commercial or light industrial land uses or in locations that will not receive significant public exposure. Media filters are particularly well suited for sites with high percentages of impervious cover (e.g., greater than 50%). Media filters can be designed with an underdrain, which makes them a good option for treating potential stormwater hotspots (PSHs). They can also be installed underground to prevent the consumption of valuable land space (often an important retrofit or redevelopment consideration). Vegetative filters can be incorporated into landscaped areas, providing dual functionality.