Definition of Stormwater Runoff
Stormwater runoff occurs when the amount of precipitation exceeds the capacity of ground to absorb water. Runoff washes off impervious surfaces like compacted soils, roofs, driveways, sidewalks, and roads, and carries sediment, trash, oil, fertilizers, and other pollutants to local waterways.
Effects of Development
As population growth increased, the demand for buildings, homes and infrastructure also increases. In the past, development often led to the less of many important environmental processes including:
- Reduced evapotranspiration, interception, and infiltration from the loss of vegetation.
- Reduced infiltration from the removal of topsoil and compaction of subsoil.
- Reduced groundwater recharge and stream base flows from increased stormwater runoff over impervious surfaces.
- Reduced infiltration from the use of built drainage systems such as gutters, storm sewers and smooth-lined channels.
- Declining watershed health from increased imperviousness.
Purpose of Stormwater Management
Spotsylvania County regulates stormwater and enforces minimum stormwater management requirements and controls:
- To reduce flood damage to public health, life, and property.
- To minimize increased stormwater runoff from new land development where such runoff will increase flood damage.
- To maintain the adequacy of existing and proposed culverts and bridges, dams and other structures.
- To prevent, to the greatest extent feasible, an increase in nonpoint source pollution.
- To maintain the integrity of stream channels for their biological functions, as well as for drainage and other purposes.
- To reduce the impact of development upon stream erosion.
- To preserve and protect water supply facilities and water resources by means of controlling increased flood discharges, stream erosion, and nonpoint source pollution.