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Water quality enhancement is achieved through implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs), including educational programs and structural features. Common structural features within Flood Control District channels and detention basins include: constructed wetlands for stormwater treatment, floatables collection devices and riparian vegetated corridors. The District utilizes these and other BMPs in an effort to improve water quality within Harris County’s waterways while fulfilling its primary goal - flood damage reduction.
The Flood Control District’s Stormwater Quality Department operates an extensive stormwater monitoring program to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of structural water quality enhancement BMPs. The District uses water quality monitoring data to update and improve engineering designs for flood damage reduction projects and meet water quality objectives. The Flood Control District’s Monitoring Protocol, developed in 2002, uses monitoring methods derived from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Surface Water Quality Monitoring Procedures (SWQM), as well as methodology and guidance developed in support of the International Stormwater BMP Database.* Since 2003, the District has collected effectiveness monitoring data on an expanding suite of stormwater BMPs. Growing data sets and increased reporting requirements dictate the District’s need for a mechanism to readily query, review, analyze and display the data results.
The Regional Best Management Practice Database application provides the Flood Control District, regional partners, and other interested parties a way to access and evaluate the effectiveness of structural BMPs constructed within the southeast Texas region. This application provides access to BMP effectiveness data through a mapping interface. It also allows the user to readily prepare maps, reports and statistical plots of the BMP effectiveness data.
The Flood Control District intends to expand the regional knowledge base by including qualified BMP effectiveness data from other sources. Further enhancements to the database could include the addition of effectiveness data from Green Infrastructure/Low Impact Development (GI/LID) practices. Organizations wishing to submit their BMP effectiveness data for consideration may contact the District’s Regional BMP Database Administrator at RBDcustomerservice@hcfcd.org and provide their name, contact information and specific interests.
The International Stormwater BMP Database was developed with the sponsorship of the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI), the American Public Works Association (APWA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).