How the SMC CLEAN project advances long-term BMP management goals

The SMC CLEAN project captures more than a decade of on-the-ground, best-practices insights about how to optimally design, construct, maintain, inspect and monitor bioretention and biofiltration systems across southern California.

Although some of this information existed before SMC CLEAN, the information was scattered, incomplete and not necessarily specific to southern California, limiting its relevance and applicability to southern California LID (Low-Impact Development) and green infrastructure projects.

In the absence of high-quality, regionally applicable guidance that goes beyond the design aspects, stormwater managers historically have struggled with issues like knowing how to supervise the construction of LID and green infrastructure projects, how to diagnose problems with their performance, how to develop effective maintenance protocols for LID and green infrastructure projects, and how to generate performance effectiveness data that are high-quality and comparable across the region.

With southern California stormwater managers projected to spend billions of dollars implementing green infrastructure systems and other types of stormwater BMPs (best management practices) in the coming decades to meet compliance, it is of paramount importance that managers get a strong return on all of their BMP investments.

SMC member agencies already are using what they have learned from the SMC CLEAN project to improve quality control and quality assurance activities for both planned and existing LID and green infrastructure projects. The best-practices guidance from SMC CLEAN also will help inform a recently launched SMC project to develop a regional stormwater BMP monitoring program. The goal of the project is to cost-effectively and rapidly collect the data necessary to help optimize the design, operation and maintenance of a range of BMP types.