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Media Advisory - James City County Releases PRIDE BMP Ratings Report

PRIDE - Protecting Resources in Delicate EnvironmentsDate: March 8, 2003

For Immediate Release
Contact: Lisa Meddin

 

Phone: (757) 253-6859

 

(James City County) -Staff from the James City County Environmental Division today unveiled a new interactive web site project designed to make it easy for interested residents to check on the "health" of hundreds of BMPs (Best Management Practices) throughout the County.

 

The PRIDE BMP Ratings Report is an interactive tool available on the Environmental Division's watershed education website at www.protectedwithpride.org.

 

"Currently, James City County has more than 400 stormwater management facilities or BMPs," says Darryl Cook, Environmental Division Director. "Unfortunately the vast majority of them are in need of attention. We hope citizens will use this Ratings Report as a way to take PRIDE in our watershed and track their community¹s progress."

 

Stormwater management/BMP practices are used to delay, capture, store, treat, filter or infiltrate stormwater runoff as a tool for watershed protection. Maintenance of BMPs is the responsibility of homeowner¹s associations or landowners. The PRIDE BMP Ratings Report is a summary of information from an inventory and inspection program being conducted by the Environmental Division of James City County. The assigned rating is based on a detailed field observation and assessment of the overall structural and stormwater runoff control function of the facility as it relates to the approved design plan and specifications.

 

RATING STATUS

  • 1 Serious condition - Immediate repair needed
  • 2 Degraded condition - Needs Improvement
  • 3 Adequate condition - Adequately maintained
  • 4 Good Condition - Well maintained
  • 5 Excellent Condition - Newly constructed or very well maintained

 

Neighborhoods can earn a PRIDE watershed designation by enhancing or improving their BMP facility beyond it¹s current design level of service or by exceeding County standards for BMP maintenance beyond normal maintenance obligations. Residents who find their neighborhood stormwater management/BMP is not up to standard are urged contact the appropriate homeowners association or BMP landowner.

 

The goal of the PRIDE watershed education program is to improve water quality in James City County by teaching residents about the importance of watershed protection while providing residents and neighborhoods with specific watershed restoration and protection tools. For more information, contact Lisa Meddin at (757) 253-6859.

 

How Neighborhoods Obtain PRIDE Designation for Their BMP

 

For a stormwater management/BMP facility, there are two paths available to achieve ³PRIDE² status (receive a neighborhood sign).

 

  1. Achieve and maintain a BMP Rating of 5 based upon inspection by County Environmental Division staff. A rating of 5 is the best achievable under the County BMP Inventory/Inspection program;
  2. Perform a watershed protection project at or around the BMP which enhances, retrofits or improves the water quality treatment function of the BMP or any of its components. Some ideas include: establishing vegetative pond buffers, installing forebays, installing a micropool, planting shallow marsh or fringe wetland plants, shoreline erosion protection, invasive specie removal or an organized clean-up day, etc.

 

County staff will determine if a stormwater management/BMP facility qualifies for PRIDE designation using the following criteria:

 

  • Specific requests must be made by a person or entity responsible for maintenance of the facility such as an HOA representative or a BMP Committee Member;
  • The BMP must provide a distinct water quality, stream channel protection or water quality (flood) control benefit to the community;
  • A record or as-built drawing is on file with the County Environmental Division;
  • A maintenance plan was developed for the BMP;
  • The Owner is performing proper routine maintenance and inspections on the BMP in accordance with the maintenance plan or other accepted standard practice;
  • The Owner has submitted at least one (1) inspection report for the BMP to the County Environmental Division;
  • The BMP must have and maintain a rating of 3 or better upon inspection by County Environmental Division staff. Rating shall be in accordance with the County BMP Inventory/Inspection program;
  • Overall the BMP is considered to have proper stormwater function and structural integrity.

 

PRIDE BMP FACT SHEET

 

Stormwater Management/BMP Guide

 

The goal of the PRIDE watershed education program is to improve water quality in James City County by teaching residents about the importance of watershed protection while providing residents and neighborhoods with specific watershed restoration and protection tools. The use of stormwater management/BMP practices which delay, capture, store, treat, filter or infiltrate stormwater runoff is a commonly used tool for watershed protection. Therefore, neighborhoods can earn a PRIDE watershed protection designation by enhancing or improving their BMP facility beyond it¹s current design level of service or by exceeding County standards for BMP maintenance beyond normal maintenance obligations.

 

What is a BMP (Best Management Practice)?

 

A BMP is a structural or non-structural stormwater practice that minimizes the impacts of land use changes on surface or groundwater systems. Structural BMPs are basins or facilities such as wet ponds, dry ponds, infiltration basins and bioretention areas designed to reduce pollutant load in stormwater runoff. Non-structural BMPs are land use or development practices such as preservation of open space, vegetative buffers and filter strips which minimize the impact on receiving stream systems.

 

Types of Structural BMPs

 

Structural BMPs are categorized into the following groups: ponds, wetland systems, infiltration systems, filtering systems, open channel systems and manufactured BMP systems. Although the groups are wide-ranging, it is easy to tell the difference between them.

 

Wet and dry ponds are the most common structural BMP types found in residential neighborhoods. Wet ponds hold a permanent pool of water and dry ponds are mainly dry, except during and after storm events. All ponds usually have an earthen dam, or similar structure such as timber crib or concrete wall, which impound water. A wet or dry pond almost always has a principal flow control structure such as a riser (standpipe), a discharge pipe or culvert and an emergency overflow spillway.

 

Wetland systems are similar to wet ponds; except they have distinct high and low marsh areas with diverse wetland plant communities.

 

Infiltration systems consist of infiltration basins or infiltration trenches. Infiltration basins are larger facilities which sometimes resemble dry ponds; however, water which temporarily stores in the pond infiltrates through the bottom of the basin into natural (permeable) soils beneath the facility. Infiltration trenches are usually underground stone-filled chambers which allow runoff to infiltrate back into the ground.

 

Filtering systems mainly consist of bioretention basins, which are highly specialized BMPs, that have underdrain, planting soil and mulch layers and a wide variety of native trees, shrubs and ground cover.

 

Open channel systems are linear BMPs usually found along roadways or in yard areas around buildings. Open channel BMPs consist of wet or dry swales. These systems are very similar to most stormwater conveyance channels; however, a wet swale has timber or rock check dams in the bottom of the channel and a dry swale has an underdrain and a permeable soil layer beneath the channel.

 

Manufactured BMP systems are specialty devices used solely for water quality purposes in intensely developed urban or redevelopment areas where surface BMPs are not feasible. Manufactured BMPs usually are small size chamber or filtering units that are located in underground manholes or vaults on storm drain pipe systems. Manufactured BMPs are sometimes used as pretreatment devices in combination with other BMP types.

 

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