Unmanaged stormwater has major impacts on water quality, aquatic ecosystem health, stream geomorphic stability, drinking water resources, recreation, and tourism. Residential and small scale, commercial stormwater sources are a major problem as they are generally comprised of impervious areas, compacted and potentially fertilized, low-infiltration lawns, and minimal or no stormwater management practices. Stormwater at many of these small sites is currently unmanaged.

Vermont Guide to Stormwater Management for Homeowners and Small BusinessesWatershed worked with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to update the guidance booklet previously known as the “Vermont Low Impact Development Guide for Residential and Small Sites.” The goal of the project was to provide a guide that will serve the needs of homeowners and small business owners to meet the ultimate objective of improving water quality and reducing or eliminating stormwater runoff from these small sites. The project approach was to first complete a comprehensive review of the existing booklet, identify areas of improvement, solicit input from the VT DEC’s project advisory committee, and develop an updated booklet.

The guide includes:

  • Replacing existing graphics with new, clear, and easy to interpret visuals
  • Rewriting practice instructions with the most up to date research
  • Adding new Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) practices to the booklet that were previously excluded
  • Adding a section on the problems associated with stormwater
  • Creating decision trees to help users of the booklet to select site-specific GSI practices
  • Creating a table summarizing practice applicability, benefits, maintenance and installation requirements, as well as practice limitations