Denver’s New Stormwater BMP Manual

Denver, Colorado

Stream Design teamed with Muller Engineering to develop a guidance manual for the design, installation and maintenance of site-scale water quality treatment best management practices (“BMPs”) for low impact development within highly urbanized areas of Denver. These BMPs are landscape elements that meet EPA guidelines for removing pollutants from urban stormwater, and also reduce stormwater runoff volumes (and downstream flooding) though infiltration and uptake of stormwater by plant roots. The process of developing these multi-functional, green infrastructure elements required the consultant team to coordinate intensively with many City and regional agencies, including those focused on stormwater management, transportation / roadways, parks & forestry, and urban design /planning. In addition to being effective at water quality and stormwater detention, these BMPs were designed to be attractive, maintainable and sustainable elements that enhance the surrounding streetscape and pedestrian environments. The team developed guidelines for BMPs which could capture and treat runoff from public roadways and sidewalks as well as from more typical site-generated runoff sources such as roof tops and parking lots.

The heart of the manual is comprised of “BMP fact sheets” that provide detailed information and details for each of the primary BMP prototypes, including: “Streetside Stormwater Planters”, “Bumpout Stormwater Planters”, “Green Gutters”, “Green Alleys”, and “Tree Trenches.”