Urban stormwater characterization, control, and treatment

Water Environ Res. 2020 Oct;92(10):1552-1586. doi: 10.1002/wer.1403. Epub 2020 Aug 1.


This review summarizes over 280 studies published in 2019 related to the characterization, control, and management of urban stormwater runoff. A summary of quantity and quality concerns is provided in the first section of the review, serving as the foundation for the following sections which focus on the control and treatment of stormwater runoff. Finally, the impact of stormwater control devices at the watershed scale is discussed. Each section provides a self-contained overview of the 2019 literature, common themes, and future work. Several themes emerged from the 2019 literature including exploration of substrate amendments for improved water quality effluent from stormwater controls, the continued study of the role of vegetation in green infrastructure practices, and a call to action for the development of new models which generate reliable, computationally efficient results under the physical, chemical, biological, and social complexity of stormwater management. PRACTITIONER POINTS: Over 280 studies were published in 2019 related to the characterization, control, and treatment of urban stormwater. Studies on bioretention and general stormwater characteristics represented the two most common subtopics in 2019. Trends in 2019 included novel substrate amendments, studies on the role of vegetation, and advancements in computational models.

Keywords: hydrology; low impact development; runoff; stormwater control measures; water quality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Rain*
  • Water Movements*
  • Water Quality