University of Maryland Extension

Stormwater Practices

What is stormwater runoff?

Stormwater runoff originates during precipitation events when water flows over the ground. Hard surfaces such as streets and rooftops increase runoff by preventing water from soaking into the ground. Water running over these hard surfaces can pick up sediment, chemicals, debris, and toxins which are carried to local streams. These pollutants prevent waterways from being fishable and swimmable.

What can I do to help address stormwater runoff pollution?

Always remember, with stormwater, you want to slow it down and soak it up! To help in the fight against stormwater runoff, learn about all the ways you can help here:

Common Homeowner Stormwater Practices

Rain Gardens

rain garden

Rain Barrels and Cisterns

rain barrel


downspout aimed onto lawn

Certified Baywise Landscaping
Logo for Bay-Wise Landscaping

Conversion from Turf to Conservation Landscaping
conversation landscaping


water being poured from bottle onto a permeable surface

Tree Planting
tree in a lawn

Installation of Pet Waste Station
pet waste station

Education Events

instructor presenting in front of a Powerpoint

Conversion from
Hard Surface to Turf/Conservation Landscaping
Fertilizer ManagementPledge not to Fertilize
Dumpsite CleanupRiparian Buffer PlantingLiving Shorelines
Lawn Depression / InfiltrationInfiltration Trench or BasinBioswales & Vegetated Open Channels
BioretentionGreen Roof

Do you have flooding issues on your property? The Watershed Team can help you by making suggestions specific to your site through a virtual stormwater site consultation.

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2021. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.