Best Management Practices - BMP

What is a Stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP)?

Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) are a non-structural method or a structural control designed to reduce stormwater runoff and minimize stormwater pollution.

Non–structural BMPs are those practices that reduce ground disturbances, utilize Low Impact Development (LID) or Conservation Design planning. Other examples of non-structural BMPs include; revegetation and reforestation of disturbed areas, reduction of impervious cover, disconnection of roof drains to a storm sewer and street sweeping.

A structural stormwater BMP is defined as a stationary and permanent BMP that is designed, constructed and operated to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants in stormwater. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Stormwater BMP Manual contains details on some 21 Structural BMPs.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources BMP Manual link 

The use of best management practices, or BMPs, is the primary method of controlling stormwater discharges and preventing runoff from adversely affecting water quality. BMPs are a suite of planning processes, development methodologies, and specific techniques designed to be used in combination to:

  • Prevent disturbances to natural systems and hydrologic functions; and
  • Minimize the impacts of disturbances where they do occur.


What is my responsibility if there is a BMP on my property?

Stormwater BMPs must be maintained to work properly. Some BMPs require little to no annual maintenance, whereas other BMPs require much more maintenance. If you have any questions about maintaining your on-site BMP, please call or email our office. Our staff can give you guidance on the appropriate maintenance and maintenance intervals.

In addition to regular maintenance, BMPs should be inspected AT LEAST annually, but should be inspected 24 hours after a rain event greater than an inch. The annual inspection must be completed by a “qualified registered professional” who can be a Professional Engineer or Landscape architect, a certified stormwater inspector, a landscape contractor or master landscaper that has experience in installation and maintenance of BMPs, township inspectors, and employees or property owners that receive training through the township stormwater division.

To schedule an inspection with our staff, please call the township office at (717) 761-0119, or email Rich Heimbach , the MS-4 Coordinator. If you or your employees have received training and need a Stormwater BMP checklist, please select the appropriate checklist below: (links to appropriate pdf checklist)

If you have any questions about Stormwater BMPs, please call our office.