Commercial Property Stormwater Management

From droughts in the summer, rainy springs to massive winter snowstorms, Massachusetts experiences diverse weather conditions throughout the year. And while you can't control the weather, you can take steps to manage the affects stormwater has on your property.

Stormwater runoff can increase the chance of several issues on your property including flooding, soil erosion, pollutants and water quality problems. But there are stormwater management strategies you can incorporate into your commercial property to avoid those issues.

Landscaping & Maintenance

One of the best natural defenses against stormwater runoff is installing plants, such as native grasses, trees, shrubs and flowers. Foliage will serve as a barrier that slows down and absorbs the water. Make sure you install native plants that can tolerate local conditions including tolerance to road salt/spray.

Place the plants around paved surfaces, and grade the landscaped space so it goes down from the pavement. That will allow the water to flow to the vegetation. You can use colorful foliage and other eye-catching plants to increase the aesthetic value, as well as the practical water-absorbing benefits.

The slope of your landscape can also help manage the stormwater. A slope of 5% or less is best to prevent erosion and other water issues.

Keep the landscape well maintained - including mowing and trimming back overgrowth - to help manage stormwater. Overgrown areas can trap and stall water, leading to constant wet spots.

Permeable Pavement

Not all paved surfaces will increase stormwater runoff issues. Permeable pavement actually allows the water to filter through the surface voids and go into an underlying reservoir.

The permeable pavement has a surface layer, stone aggregate reservoir layer underneath that and then some sort of drain on the bottom. The pavement reduces runoff and helps remove pollutants through a filtration process.

The most popular permeable options are interlocking concrete pavers, pervious concrete and porous asphalt. You could use these for sidewalks, patios or other hardscaped areas.

Redirect Roof Downspouts

If your building's gutters and spouts are pouring stormwater onto sidewalks or other paved surfaces, it can damage the building and cause runoff problems. Instead, redirect the spouts so the water flows into landscaped areas or planters.

French drains and catch basins are efficient options that will collect and move the runoff away from your building. You can also add splash blocks to your spouts to slow down the runoff flow rate and control the direction it runs.

Parking Lots & Dumpsters

Dry sweep paved areas on a regular basis, especially around storm drains. This includes parking lots, patios, sidewalks and dumpster areas. Do not use a hose to wash down pavement.

Collect and dispose of debris in waste containers. Do not sweep into the gutter or storm drain.

Cover dumpsters and keep them clean to avoid leaks. Check regularly for leaks, and replace if necessary.

Never wash down dumpsters with a hose. If cleaning is needed, contact the leasing company.

Schedule regular waste pick-ups.

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