GEAA celebrates National Groundwater Awareness Week with release of an investigation on aquifer protection basins, commonly called BMPs.
BMP stands for “Best Management Practice”. These BMPs are permanent structures required by State law to mitigate pollution from high density development on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. BMPs come in many shapes and sizes, and are site specific in design. Most commonly in San Antonio, a BMP is a concrete lined ditch filled with sand, which is meant to filter out some pollutants from the first flush of rain water. They can be found behind many of the businesses and homes located on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.
GEAA findings reveal that these structures are not really a reliable method of preventing non-point source pollution in rainwater from entering the aquifer, and calls upon the public to help make sure that the BMPs in San Antonio are working properly.
Among the findings reported in Permanent Stormwater Pollution Prevention Systems within the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone in Bexar County, Texas:
- At least 10 to 15% of structural BMPs are persistently non-compliant.
- Owners of properties with BMPs, and the general public, are often unaware of the sensitivity of the Edwards Aquifer to pollution from storm water run-off. Many property owners are unaware of the function of the BMP on their property, and that the BMP requires regular maintenance to keep it working properly.
GEAA calls on those who live and work on the Recharge Zone to be on the look out for improperly maintained BMPs. The presence of trees more than 3” in diameter, or of stagnant water within the basin several days after a rain are a sign that a BMP is not working properly.
Citizens who notice BMPs that are not being properly maintained should contact San Antonio Water Systems Aquifer Division at 210-704-SAWS or TCEQ at 888-777-3186.
Click here to download a copy of GEAA’s report.