The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) defines a best management practice (BMP) as both structural devices to store or treat storm water runoff and non-structural programs or practices which are designed to prevent or reduce the pollution of the waters of the State of Georgia.
Structural BMPs can be thought of as engineering solutions to stormwater management. Structural BMPs are used to treat stormwater at the point of generation or the point of discharge. They can serve many different functions based on their design. Some structural BMPs are designed particularly for urban areas, whereas others may be designed for agriculture, or forestry.
Non-structural BMPs are just that; non-structural. There are no physical structures associated with these types of BMPs. They are designed to limit the amount of pollutants available in the environment that would potentially end up in stormwater runoff. Non-structural BMPs typically lessen the need for the more costly structural BMPs. This can be achieved through education, management and development practices.
Structural BMP examples include:
- Rain Barrel
- Rain Garden
- Buffer Strips and Swales
- Native Plants
- Constructed Wetlands
- Pervious Pavement
Non-structural BMP examples include:
- Picking up after your pet
- Washing your car on the grass
- Getting a soil test
- Disposing of yard debris properly
- Disposing of paint and chemicals properly