Sustainable Stormwater Management: Implementing Best Management Practices in San Francisco's Pandhandle Area


Certain types of urbanization and the addition of hardscape prevent the infiltration of rainwater into the soil and increase surface runoff. When runoff quantity exceeds the capacity of the sewer system, combined sewer overflows (CSOs) occur, sending partially untreated water into the San Francisco Bay and/or Pacific Ocean. Low Impact Development Best Management Practices LID BMPs) (i.e. flow-through planters and permeable paving) can help alleviate CSOs. The goals of this research was to use ArcGIS to determine optimum site suitability in the Panhandle area of San Francisco for implementing LID BMPs based on the environmental variables of slope, depth to bedrock, and soil type, and to address why LID BMPs have not been widely implemented in San Francisco. I found that there are no policy impediments preventing LID BMP implementation and I make recommendations for San Francisco based on case studies as the city moves towards implementing them on a wider scale.

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