There are a variety of BMP’s that can be employed to significantly reduce the problems associated with stormwater runoff; rain gardens, vegetated wetlands, green roofs, bioswales and bioretention basins to name a few of them.

Bioretention Basins

Bioretention Basin

Bioretention Basins are one of the more complex BMP’s. They have several components; a shallow basin with an under-drain system, pretreatment areas, an engineered soil mix usually 30-36 inches in depth to filter out pollutants, a 2 to 4 inch covering of hardwood landscape mulch and a covering of native vegetation that uptakes water and excess nutrients. A bioretention basin can treat up to about 5 acres of water runoff.

“A Bioretention Basin has one of the highest nutrient and pollutant removal efficiencies of any BMP. It filters, uptakes and infiltrates water runoff by way of natural chemical, biological and physical properties of plants, microbes and soils. A Bioretention Basin controls stormwater runoff close to the source.” (source: APWA/MARC Manual)

Arbor Masters produces custom mixed engineered soil that filters pollution from stormwater runoff and supports plant health and the microbiology necessary to break down the complex compounds of petroleum based pollutants.



Bioswales are similar to bioretention basins. They are typically smaller landscaped areas also using engineered soil and may or may not have an under-drain system. Bioswales are often used in parking lot islands to treat the runoff.

Rain gardens


Rain gardens are popular on smaller runoff areas such as residential applications due to their efficiency, relatively low maintenance and attractive landscape qualities. They can be planted to attract butterflies and birds. Rain gardens are built in low lying areas that tend to stay wet from water runoff.

Green Roofs

Roof top garden

Green Roofs are being used in urban areas to not only control stormwater runoff, but to reduce the heat the build-up in cities and improve air quality. They also add a green feature to a sometimes stark environment.

Vegetative Wetlands

Vegetative Wetlands

Vegetative Wetlands are very effective in treating and mitigating large amounts of runoff water. They are used in low lying areas and do an excellent job of collecting sediment, facilitating filtration of pollutants and nutrient removal.

If your company or group would like to know more about stormwater BMP’s or you would like to schedule a presentation on the subject or a tour of some of the BMP’s Arbor Masters® has built, please contact Pat Pinkerton at We look forward to hearing from you!