Estimating Post-Construction Costs of a Changing Urban Stormwater Program

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Virginia Tech

Degradation of the nation's waters continues to be a problem and urban runoff is a large contributor to it. New stormwater management policies stress the importance of using stormwater control practices that reduce the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff. The new approaches tend to emphasize small-scale, on-site practices over large scale. Yet to achieve water quality benefits, stormwater control practices must be maintained over time. Maintenance costs of these facilities, however, are poorly understood. A case study of five municipalities around the United States is used to estimate inspection and enforcement costs for each case site. Maintenance activities and costs were collected at the case sites for the following stormwater controls: dry ponds, wet ponds, wetlands, bioretention facilities, sand filters, and infiltration trenches. Cost estimates indicate that inspection and enforcement is not influenced by type. Maintenance cost estimates change depending on the BMP type. Estimated annual post-construction costs applied to a hypothetical 1,000-acre indicate that moving from large-scale to small-scale stormwater controls has a large impact in terms of financial obligation.

Stormwater Costs, Operation and Maintenance, Low impact development, Post-construction stormwater