USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Quantifying the benefits of urban stormwater management

Principal Investigator:
Nicole Beck, 2NDNATURE, LLC

Proposal [pdf]
Monitoring Plan (updated data collection plan for proposal) [pdf]

Final Report [pdf]

2NDNATURE website

Please contact Dr. Nicole Beck with questions regarding the final report.

Project Summary

The Lake Tahoe Total Maximum Daily Load (Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board [LRWQCB] and Nevada Division of Environmental Protection [NDEP] 2010) and supporting Lake Clarity Crediting Program (LRWQCB and NDEP 2009) are guiding water quality improvements within urban areas to reduce urban pollutant loading and ultimately improve the clarity of Lake Tahoe over the next 30 years.

A series of stormwater tools have been developed to support the Crediting Program to estimate the load reductions of urban water quality improvement actions (i.e., Pollutant Load Reduction Model [PLRM]; NHC et al. 2009) and verify these improvements are adequately maintained (Road Rapid Assessment Methodology [Road RAM], 2NDNATURE et al. 2010; BMP Rapid Assessment Methodology [BMP RAM], 2NDNATURE et al. 2009).

The Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program (RSWMP) is being developed to obtain consistent long‐term stormwater datasets to inform tool improvements, as well as provide datasets that will ultimately demonstrate if the collective water quality improvement actions have resulted in sustained reductions of urban stormwater pollutant loading to the Lake. The development of a standardized and consistent approach to urban outfall monitoring for sediment and nutrient pollutants of concern is currently being defined by RSWMP, and it was the intent of this research to inform RSWMP development.

A series of data and information were used to document the runoff volumes and FSP pollutant loading from 3 urban catchments, evaluate the influence of changing road conditions on these pollutant loads, and build representative PLRM models to compare to the measured water quality datasets. The selected water quality monitoring methods targeted cost-effective data collection techniques that could obtain precise and repeatable stormwater discharge and FSP concentration datasets.