The 5 Methods for Managing Stormwater Runoff Volume

Posted On: February 02, 2021

Stormwater runoff, or extra water that flows over the ground, occurs when heavy rain collects on top of impervious surfaces (such as rooftops, driveways, and parking lots) that don’t allow the water to seep into the ground or follow a natural path to larger waterways. This inevitably causes problems like flooding, erosion, and habitat degradation.

That’s why it’s imperative to include stormwater management when developing commercial spaces. While you should always check your state and local regulations for specific requirements, here are five general methods to consider for managing stormwater runoff.

Infiltration Trenches

Since stormwater runoff is unable to permeate the surfaces it collects on, one option is to redirect the water into the soil. This is what infiltration trenches do. These shallow trenches are about three to 12 feet in depth, and filled with aggregate in order to accumulate the rain and send it into the earth. It’s important to note that infiltration trenches are dependent on factors like soil type, location of nearby buildings, and land slopes. They are also often used in conjunction with other practices since the trenches alone aren’t enough to handle excessive runoff. Still, this is an environmentally friendly solution that keeps water from being wasted.

Permeable Pavement

Another way around an impervious surface is to use pervious materials instead. Permeable pavement is designed with spaces in the pavement surface that sits on an aggregate sub-base over the soil. This allows water to pass through the pavement rather than collect dangerously on top. The water can then be collected and treated or simply returned into the ground below.

Underground Detention Facility

This particular option is a below-ground stormwater structure (collection tanks, basins, etc.) that is often buried beneath parking lots and roadways, making it ideal if there is insufficient space for an above-ground solution. The primary purpose is to manage the quantity of stormwater runoff. A stormwater detention facility collects the water and then releases it at a controlled rate into the sewer or local aquifer. These storage containers can also attach to filters that remove chemicals, oil, sediment, and other pollutants that would otherwise flow into rivers and streams.

iSTORMWATER can maintain your underground stormwater detention facility. Contact us online or give us a call at (443) 699-2828 to schedule services in Southern Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Permeable Pavers

Similar to the permeable pavement discussed earlier, permeable pavers are another option with built-in voids (this time between each paver) to manage stormwater runoff. The aggregate underneath filters the water and directs it to the soil. This type of paver can also be used in conjunction with a storage facility to harvest the water for other uses.


Bioretention utilizes plant material and microbes to temporarily store and treat stormwater before it is discharged or infiltrated. Also referred to as bioretention filters, bioretention cells, or rain gardens, these facilities remove suspended solids, metals, hydrocarbons, and bacteria from stormwater runoff using a combination of absorption, filtration, volatilization, ion exchange, and microbial decomposition. The use of specific plants, trees, and shrubs allows bioretention systems to mimic an upland forest floor, the ideal ecosystem for treating runoff.

These systems are extremely versatile and can be adapted to fit many different development contexts, applications, and climates. It’s a popular low-impact development (LID) practice that can satisfy local stormwater requirements while using space already designated for landscaping.

Stormwater Service in the DMV

Interested in learning more about stormwater runoff management? Don’t hesitate to call the professionals at iSTORMWATER. We proudly serve Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC by offering both preventative stormwater maintenance and flooding mitigation services that can save you money and possible property damage.

For your free consultation, contact us today!


Real Results

iStormwater LLC was an excellent choice. They made the process of the Storm water pond repairs seamless. They took charge of the project and got the project approved and passing the inspection. We highly recommend them and would use them again.

Lyonswood HOA

Incredible stormwater management service. The owner John consulted on a property I manage and ended up saving us thousands of dollars in environmental fees from the government. Now, our property is compliant with the EPA and we have a great partner to keep us maintained on storm water regulations over time.

Kelly E.
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