Protecting Your Infrastructure Through Stormwater Resilience

Managing stormwater runoff and increasing stormwater resilience can mitigate flooding and flood-related damages to local infrastructure. Stormwater runoff can carry bacteria and other pollutants into waterways used for drinking water, fishing, swimming and other recreational activities. This module explains how to protect your community by planning for climate conditions and the risks of stormwater runoff.

Read the video transcript

In this topic you will learn

  1. What is stormwater and how can it be dangerous to my community?

  2. What can I do to mitigate flood-related damages?

  3. How will future climate conditions impact infrastructure?



Excess stormwater runoff can cause flooding and other damage to school buildings, leading to extended closures and missed school days. Excess runoff can also disrupt bus routes and impact internet access that is needed for schoolwork.

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Economic Development

Flooding harms businesses, damages private property and threatens the health of local waterways, which often support tourism and outdoor recreation.

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Public Health and Safety

Stormwater runoff picks up litter, toxic contaminants, nutrients, sediment and other pollutants as it passes over the land. These pollutants are typically discharged directly into local waterways, without having been treated.

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Infrastructure Maintenance and Finance

Flooding endangers critical community infrastructure, including roads, bridges, power lines, cellular phone service and access to drinking water.

A house, indicating infrastructure.

Case Studies You'll Find Inside

Henrico County

Henrico County, Virginia

Monitoring Cooperative Identifies Public Health Threat

Participants in the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative found high levels of E. coli bacteria in a local waterway. Geese and other wildlife were suggested to be the source. The following spring, monitors discovered high levels of bacteria again. They contacted local government agencies a second time, and the Public Works Department was able to track the pollution to a pet daycare center that was improperly disposing of pet waste. The Department of Public Utilities worked with kennel management to educate employees and establish waste disposal techniques to eliminate this clean water threat.

A black Labrador retriever plays in shallow water. (Envato Elements)

Here's How You Can Help

An icon of a blue cloud with rain coming down, indicating precipitation. Meet with your Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) coordinator or stormwater engineer to discuss strategies to reduce strain on your stormwater management systems.
An icon of green plants with a blue water drop at the bottom right corner, indicating a wetland. Protect and restore valuable wetlands and other natural landscapes.
An icon with a blue arrow bent at a downward right angle and a green arrow coming out of the vertical branch, indicating flexibility. Build flexibility and adaptability into your community’s infrastructure plans.

Learn More About This Topic


Learn about nature-based solutions for flooding, erosion and other hazards, and use case studies to determine which tools may work best for you.


Connect with stormwater professionals from across the Chesapeake Bay watershed and access technical resources, training opportunities, regulatory updates and stormwater alerts.

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