Environmental Review Toolkit
Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife

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Stormwater Best Management Practices in an Ultra-Urban Setting: Selection and Monitoring

4.    Monitoring Program Development

4.1    Introduction

Monitoring is a direct and effective method of evaluating water quality and its response to various land treatment activities. Monitoring best management practices (BMPs) provides valuable information on their performance in controlling stormwater runoff and associated pollutants, and supports both management and engineering decisions regarding BMP use, design, operation, and maintenance. This chapter presents a structured approach to developing a well-designed monitoring program. Key steps of the approach are illustrated using actual case studies conducted on a variety of different types of BMPs and settings around the country.

4.2    Phases of a Monitoring Program

The development of a BMP monitoring program can be divided into four distinct phases as shown in Figure 37. These phases are:

  • The program planning phase identifies key management questions to be answered by the monitoring program and defines the anticipated data quality requirements.
  • The program design phase details the technical aspects of field sampling and associated operating procedures, methods for laboratory analysis and quality control, and chain of custody, and develops a data management plan.
  • The program implementation phase consists of field measurements and data collection, laboratory analysis, and processing and storage of program data. Program implementation is performed according to standard operating procedures and a quality assurance plan developed during the design phase.
  • The program evaluation phase analyzes data collected from the monitoring program for adequacy and sufficiency and formulates answers to the management questions defined during the planning phase.

Each phase consists of a set of elements that provide a structured approach for ensuring that all monitoring considerations are addressed and coordinated in an effective manner. Brief descriptions of the phases and corresponding elements are provided in the following sections.

Figure 37. Key phases for the development of a monitoring program

Program Planning Phase
(Define goals, objectives, roles, and responsibilities)

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Program Design Phase
(Develop sampling plan, field, and lab procedures)

downward pointing arrow

Program Implementation Phase
(Perform field measurement and data collection)

downward pointing arrow

Program Evaluation Phase
(Answer management questions/review goals)

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Questions and feedback should be directed to Susan Jones (Susan.Jones@dot.gov, 202-493-2139) and Marcel Tchaou (Marcel.Tchaou@dot.gov, 202-366-4196).

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