Stormwater Databases: NURP, USGS, International BMP Database and NSQD
During the past 30 years government agencies, universities and private companies have invested millions of dollars trying to understand the factors that affect the quality of stormwater discharges. Stormwater can pick up dirt, chemicals, and other pollutants that are then discharged to the stormwater drainage system and ultimately discharged to receiving water bodies, usually without any treatment. According to the U.S. EPA, stormwater is one of the major causes of water quality impairment in the nation’s rivers, lakes, ocean shorelines, and estuaries.
In the U.S., several nationwide monitoring efforts have examined the sources and resulting concentrations of stormwater pollutants. Some of the results of these studies have been stored in electronic databases. For example the International Best Management Practices Database (BMP database) uses a database application to store and retrieve information from different stormwater controls. Another example is the National Stormwater Quality Database (NSQD) that stores some of the reported data from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase I stormwater monitoring program in a spreadsheet format.
Two previous national stormwater monitoring efforts have included the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program (NURP) finished in 1983 and the USGS urban stormwater database completed in 1987. The results from both of these efforts were stored on magnetic tapes with a proprietary format.
The data from these four databases were sorted and combined in this chapter (the NSQD, version 2 beta), which now contains information for about 10,000 individual stormwater events representing all areas of the U.S. This combined database was evaluated to identify significant differences in the concentrations of nine stormwater constituents among land use, geographical region, and season, as an example of the types of evaluations possible. The analyses were performed using the General Linear Model (GLM).
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