Abstract

Ontario's Stormwater Management, Planning and Design Manual released in March 2003 integrates some of the advancements made in stormwater management since the 1994 version of the Manual was published. Perhaps the most significant update is the recognition of in-stream erosion control and water balance objectives in addition to flood and water quality objectives for stormwater management. Specific design criteria which would allow these objectives to be achieved are not set out, but procedures that can assist in the development of criteria based on local watershed and receiving water conditions are described. While refinements will undoubtedly be needed, approaches to designing end-of-pipe facilities to prevent undesirable geomorphic changes are included. Approaches to protect groundwater and baseflow characteristics are also included although guidance on addressing potential trade-offs between groundwater quantity and quality is an additional challenge for the future. Little design guidance is available in Ontario on techniques to mitigate impacts on wetlands, however, developments from other jurisdictions may be transferable. The 2003 Manual promotes an integrated, treatment train approach to stormwater management that emphasizes prevention first, followed by lot-level and conveyance controls and finally, endof- pipe controls. Some information on better site design techniques is incorporated but in comparison to other jurisdictions, less emphasis has been placed on low-impact development strategies. Ontario's approach to design for water quality (suspended solids) control has evolved little. To complement the prevention and treatment train philosophy, the removal efficiency approach to sizing end-of-pipe facilities needs to be used in conjunction with effluent criteria and/or minimum requirements for source protection. Significant advancements in stormwater modelling over the last decade are not well reflected in the Manual; the limited discussion of modelling focusses on an event-based approach. Whether event or continuous modelling is utilized, Ontario practitioners will need guidance on adapting input data to account for the anticipated effects of climate change. Development of sound guidance on monitoring increasingly complex, multi-objective stormwater management systems and the ecosystems they are designed to protect will be critical to ensure that the knowledge gained from performance evaluations may continue to be utilized to refine the design and management of stormwater systems.

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