WEF White Paper Explores National Stormwater Program Testing, Evaluation

A national testing and evaluation program for stormwater products and practices could help meet a growing need for affordable and effective stormwater management infrastructure, according to a paper released by the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Stormwater Testing and Evaluation for Products and Practices (STEPP) work group.

The paper, “Investigation into the Feasibility of a National Testing and Evaluation Program for Stormwater Products and Practices,” reviews the current status of the industry; past and existing programs at the national, regional, state, and local level; as well as challenges and potential solutions to establishing such programs.

Such a testing and evaluation program is both feasible and necessary to help stormwater managers overcome obstacles that restrain innovation in product and technology development, according to the report’s executive summary. Critical program elements include developing a consistent protocol, sustainable funding, a transparent and streamlined program, stakeholder engagement, and strong national leadership, according to the paper.

The paper also outlines future actions that STEPP needs to take, such as increasing engagement in the sector, refining the structure and critical issues of a national program, developing technical and process protocols, and disseminating information about the program.

WEF hosted a meeting at WEFTEC 2012 to discuss testing and evaluation programs in an effort to help remove barriers to adopting innovations in the stormwater sector. The STEPP work group formed after this meeting and has been working to develop a national, standardized testing and evaluation program for proprietary stormwater products and practices.

More information is available on the recording of the webcast, Investigation of a National Program to Test and Evaluate Stormwater Products and Practices — Overview of the STEPP White Paper, and in the Stormwater Report article “WEF Releases White Paper on Stormwater Product Evaluation Program.”

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