A unified framework is presented for addressing stormwater sizing criteria in the context of the 2003 MPCA Construction General Permit (CGP) and local stormwater management requirements, if chosen by the local community. The unified approach addresses five different sizing criteria, as shown below:
Once the basic stormwater sizing criteria are defined for regular waters, the chapter then describes how they can be adapted to provide greater protection for special and other sensitive waters of the state. The goal of the unified framework is to develop a consistent approach for sizing stormwater practices that can:
A unified framework for sizing stormwater practices provides greater consistency and integration among the many city, county, watershed organization, regional and statewide stormwater requirements and ordinances adopted over the years. It also establishes a common framework to address all stormwater problems caused by development sites over the entire spectrum of rainfall events. The unified approach still provides communities with flexibility to develop stormwater criteria adapted for local conditions, within overall context of the 2003 MPCA CGP. In addition, Chapter 8 presents more detailed guidance on the appropriate design assumptions for accepted hydrologic models used in design.
This section reviews the key stormwater sizing concepts and terminology used in the chapter and presents an overview of the unified framework for managing stormwater in Minnesota. The terminology and abbreviations associated with various stormwater sizing criteria can be confusing at times, as the state and local reviewing authorities often define or interpret them in a slightly different manner. The specific meanings of important terms used in this chapter are described in Table 10.1.
In the course of a year, anywhere from 35 to 50 precipitation events fall on Minnesota. Most events are quite small but a few can be several inches in depth. A rainfall frequency spectrum describes the average frequency of the depth of precipitation events (adjusted for snowfall) that occur during a normal year. Figure 10.1 provides an example of a typical rainfall frequency spectrum for Minnesota (MSP airport) which shows the percent of rainfall events that are equal to or less than an indicated rainfall depth. Similar graphs for other locations are contained in Appendix B. As can be seen, the majority of storms are relatively small but a sharp upward inflection point occurs at about one-inch of rainfall.
The unified sizing approach seeks to manage the entire frequency of rainfall events that are anticipated at development sites. The runoff frequency spectrum is divided into five management zones, based on their relative frequency, as follows:
The goal of stormwater management is to provide effective control over each management zone in order to produce post-development hydrology that most closely resembles state or locally defined pre-development conditions at the development site. Each criterion defines a unique storage volume that should be managed at the site. They are best understood visually as a layer cake that has progressively larger layers from bottom to top, with recharge volume being the narrowest layer at the bottom and extreme storm control comprising the thickest layer at the top. Figure 10.2 shows how the five storage volumes interact in a stormwater BMP.