Stormwater Library

resources for stormwater professionals

Compost-based BMPs – EPA Presentation

One of the better presentations that I have come across on the use of compost in stormwater BMPs was done by Chris Newman of the U.S. EPA. Mr. Newman provides some background into the EPA’s initiative to promote compost-based BMPs and points audience to its fact sheets database.

The presentation is a very nice primer on the benefits, effectiveness, and limitations of using compost blankets, compost filter socks, and compost filter berms. He also goes into some detail about the quality standards and certification required for the use of compost products.

Some of the key benefits highlighted in the presentation include:

  • ability to prevent rill erosion
  • runoff volume reduction
  • promoting establishment of vegetation
  • improving water quality through adsorption of nutrients and pollutants

A brief survey of some of the companies out there installing compost-based BMPs illustrated how creative designers can be with the products. Of particular note is the use of compost filter socks, traditionally used in the same manner as straw wattles, in the creation of permanent stream banks, or even as an alternative to rip-rap.


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