Stormwater Pollution Prevention

The Motivation

large outfall pipeIn the rainy Northwest, stormwater is one of the biggest contributors to polluted urban waterways. Toxic runoff does significant harm to human health and our valuable aquatic ecosystems. Under new stormwater regulations, industries are  responsible for their contributions to polluted waterways. The WA Industrial Stormwater General Permit sets discharge limits on metals, fertilizers, and other indicators of water quality. Increasingly, businesses need a Stormwater Pollution Prevention plan.

What We Do

At PPRC, we focus on addressing stormwater by looking upstream. Instead of focusing on end-of-pipe treatment technologies, we focus on reducing stormwater pollution at its sources – the facilities, processes, and operations that produce the problem. We have recently produced two series of stormwater pollution prevention resources: Preventing Zinc Pollution in Stormwater and Stormwater Pollution Prevention for Sports Facilities.

Preventing Zinc Pollution In Stormwater

In August 2014, we completed a series of resources (below) to help businesses prevent zinc pollution in stormwater.

Video – Zinc in Stormwater: Galavanizing Business Solutions

  • “Zinc in Stormwater: Galvanizing Business Solutions”Provides context to the issue of zinc pollution by showing how the metal leaches into stormwater from many different sources. Because zinc comes from so many places, no one solution is likely to suffice for any business. Businesses need to assess the sources of the metal and then implement a variety of appropriate solutions. This video highlights a number of successful solutions that businesses are using now – in the ground, on rooftops, and everywhere in between.. View the video HERE.

ZINC in Stormwater: Galvanizing Business Solutions from pprc on Vimeo.


PDFs – Emerging Best Management Practices in Stormwater

  • Biochar as Filtration Media Biochar is a promising, versatile, and affordable filtration material. Why is it so effective? How widely is it being used in the Northwest? What do we know and not know about its ability to filter pollutants, especially heavy metals?
  • Mitigating Zinc in BoatyardsThere are over 55 boatyards in the general Puget Sound area. Many of these boatyards have stormwater zinc above permit levels. What cost-effective solutions have boatyards employed to to control their zinc sources?
  • Street and Surface Sweeping to Reduce Stormwater PollutionWhile sweeping is a simple idea, it gets complicated when you’re faced with preparing a specific plan and budget. After all, what is Vacuum Sweeping? How about Regenerative Sweeping? Do you do things differently in the “wet” versus the “dry” season? And how often should you sweep?
  • Addressing Galvanized RoofingOne zinc source that often gets over-looked, or under looked, is galvanized roofs. Because galvanized roofs typically leach high concentrations of zinc, coating or painting roofs with non-zinc materials can dramatically reduce a businesses’ zinc runoff.  Learn more about coatings, and other best management practices – simple and complex – that businesses can use to control zinc from galvanized surfaces.

 * The above resources were made possible by a grant generously provided by The Russell Family Foundation.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention for Sports Facilities

Capture_GSA Stormwater Cover

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual: Non-Structural BMPs for Sports Facilities

Sports facilities often maintain lots of hard surfaces – parking lots, sidewalks, stadiums, and even fields. These surfaces collect pollutants that precipitation runoff carries directly into our waterways.

We created a manual to help sports facilities reduce their impacts on surrounding water bodies:

As part of the above manual, Individual Best Management Practices (BMPs) address different aspects of managing stormwater. Individual BMP Topics can be found here:



Additional Resources

The Northwest region is a hotbed of research and action in stormwater pollution prevention. Here is an unoffical list of other local organizations and resources that address stormwater issues: