Naturalized Berms

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What is it?

A berm is a raised barrier that separates two areas. Naturalized Berms include native vegetation and other natural materials to extend the flow path of water before entering a wetland or other water body. By keep water from taking the shortest route into a waterbody, the rate of flow is slowed, and non-point source pollution is allowed to settle and filter out.

How can municipalities use it?

Municipalities can use Naturalized Berms as a part of their stormwater management. Best practice and design manuals can include specifications for Naturalized Berms to guide municipal staff in development approval decisions, and to guide developers on potential stormwater management technologies.

What are the advantages?

The advantages of Naturalized Berms include:

  • Improves water quality

  • Reduces erosion and sediementation

  • Use of native vegetation provides habitat, as well as contributes to clean air, clean water, and stable banks

  • Adds aesthetic value to stromwater infrastructure

What should you watch out for?

No tool is a silver bullet. The following should be considered when implementing Naturalized Berm programs:

  • Traditional engineering practices do not include Natualized Berms, so developers may be slow to be utilized

How can it help maintain natural infrastructure?

Naturalized Berms help to maintain the natural infrastructure system by mitigating non-source pollution, erosion, and sedimentation from stormwater. This protects habitat and water quality, and ensures the natural infrastructure system can properly function and benefits can be realized.

Resources

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