Nature-based Stormwater Strategies are an effective and economical strategy to reduce flooding and improve water quality by disconnecting impervious surfaces and promoting infiltration on site.

Below is a comparison between a conventional and retrofitted single family home. Use the slider to compare features of the two properties and see how these features impact stormwater runoff.

Stormwater runoff flows from a conventional home when rain hits the impervious roof, walkway and driveway. The polluted runoff then flows to the storm drain where it can reach surface waters. In contrast, stormwater runoff was significantly reduced by installing simple retrofits to disconnect impervious surfaces.
Gutter downspouts were rerouted to rain gardens and rain barrels while the driveway and walkway were resurfaced with pervious pavement.

We encourage the use of low impact development treatment practices that put stormwater back into the ground or allow it to be used by plants. This protects streams from the pollution and erosion that are often an unfortunate side effect of development protects.

Annette Lucas, Stormwater Program Supervisor
Division of Energy Mineral and Land Resources

Stormwater Retrofit Resources:

Pavers Search: Learn more about permeable pavement solutions

Rain GardensLearn more about the benefits of rain gardens for stormwater and how to implement one

Low Impact Development for MunicipalitiesAn Environmental Protection Agency guide for municipalities

Natural Infrastructure Strategies (NOAA)

Nature as Resilient Infrastructure (EESI)

Low Impact Development Summit (2014)

Low Impact Development Center Publications

Storm E-Z, NC DEQ

This spreadsheet calculates stormwater runoff based on proposed land use practices and streamlines the stormwater permit application. 

Stormwater Management Model (SWMM), EPA

This tool models how changes in watershed management may affect stormwater runoff.

Water Conservation Dashboard, ESRI

An ArcGIS Tool for water utilities that can show stormwater control measures and the effectiveness of water conservation efforts.

Stormwater Control Measure Credit Document, NCDEQ

A guidance document to determine the reduction value for SCMs in North Carolina

Learn about other stakeholder groups: