What are Best Management Practices (BMPs)?
Best management Practices, frequently shortened to BMPs, are structural, vegetative or managerial practices used to treat, prevent or reduce water pollution. They are meant to slow down stormwater runoff and remove pollution before they enter our creeks, rivers and lakes. There are various types of BMPs that target different types of stormwater runoff, among them Agricultural, Commercial and Institutional, Municipal, Industrial, and Wholesale. Because each type of runoff contains different pollutants, menus of BMPs are tailored for these different sectors’ impacts.
Why are these important?
Slowing stormwater runoff is important, especially in areas like the Hill Country with a high degree of surface water and groundwater interaction as well as extreme rain events like flash floods, because heavily polluted runoff can quickly enter into rivers, streams, and aquifers. Without the benefit of filtration through plants and percolation through soils, that polluted runoff can degrade water quality of the water upon which people rely for drinking and recreation.
The Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan implements best management practices and other actions to maintain water quality in the creek and its tributaries. The implementation of management measures throughout the watershed over time will result in pollutant loading reductions and established pollutant targets will serve as benchmarks of progress and indicators for adaptive management activities. Tracking the effectiveness of these management measures will be required to ensure that water quality goals are being achieved.
Existing BMPs installed by Wimberley, Woodcreek and Hays County need monitoring to determine their effectiveness at protecting water quality in Cypress Creek.