Best Management Practices
Best Management Practices
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are effective, practical, structural or nonstructural methods which prevent or reduce the movement of sediment, nutrients, pesticides and other pollutants from the land to surface or ground water, or which otherwise protect water quality from potential adverse effects of land use activities. These practices are developed to achieve a balance between water quality protection and necessary development within natural and economic limitations. Understanding BMPs and their flexibility in application is of vital importance in selecting BMPS which offer site specific control of potential non point source pollution. Each site must be evaluated individually; there may be more than one appropriate BMP for reducing or controlling potential non point source pollution on any given site. Care must also be taken to select BMPs that are practical and economical while maintaining both water quality and desired land use.
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, Public Law 92-500 (and as amended by Sec. 319, 1986), require the management of non point sources of water pollution. BMPs have been developed to guide landowners and land managers toward voluntary compliance with this act. Maintenance of water quality is central to this law's objectives. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the use of BMPs as an acceptable method of reducing non point source pollution.
Non point source is diffuse pollution that comes from almost everywhere; it even occurs naturally to a certain extent. The amount of pollutants from any particular spot is small and insignificant, but when combined from over the watershed, it can create water quality problems. Although it is unrealistic to expect that all non point source pollution can be eliminated, BMPs can be used to minimize the impact of various land use practices on water quality.
These practices must be reasonable, achievable and cost effective. The adoption and use of BMPs will provide the mechanism for attaining the following water quality goals:
to maintain the integrity of stream courses;
- to reduce the volume of surface runoff originating from an area of disturbance and running directly into surface water;
- to minimize the movement of pollutants, i.e. pesticides, nutrients, petroleum products, etc. and sediment to surface and ground water;
- to stabilize exposed mineral soil areas through natural plantings.
Information in part from http://www.state.hi.us/dlnr/dofaw/wmp/bmps.htm#FOREWORD
The Perry Conservation District and its coooperating agencies offer technical anad financial assistance for the installation of agricultural BMPs. The Perry Conservation District and NRCS have worked with many farmers in Perry County. Each farm has unique challenges to prevent sediment, nutrient and chemical pollution of surface and ground waters. There are no “one size fits all” solutions regarding agricultural BMPs. Manure storage facilities, barnyard improvements, milk house wastewater treatment systems, heavy use protection areas, vegetative filters, streambank fencing, spring developments, mortality composting structures, intensive grazing systems, cover crops, nutrient management plans and riparian buffers are all examples of BMPs that have been implemented in Perry County.