Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a BMP?

The acronym "BMP" is short for Best Management Practice. In the context of water quality, BMPs are devices and actions that improve or prevent the pollution of urban runoff and stormwater. The 2001 Los Angeles Municipal Stormwater Permit defines BMPs as "means methods, or practices designed and selected to reduce or eliminate the discharge of pollutants to surface waters from point and non-point source discharges including storm water. BMPs include but are not limited to structural and nonstructural controls and operation and maintenance procedures. BMPs can be applied before, during, and after pollution-producing activities."

Further, BMPs can be proprietary or nonproprietary. Proprietary devices are patented and/or manufactured, while nonproprietary BMP designs are in the public domain. Examples of proprietary BMP products are "Stormceptor" and "GravelPave," and examples of nonproprietary BMPs include detention basins, grassy drainage swales, catch basin stenciling, and public education.

Under the stormwater requirements of the federal Clean Water Act, stormwater quality must be improved to the "Maximum Extent Practical." The installation of BMPs is considered to meet that requirement.

  Low Impact Development Center Design Tools

  EPA BMP Menu

  CASQA BMP Handbooks

  LACDPW Trash BMP Technical Report