Buffers and Best Management Practices (BMPs) are a natural and effective way to protect or restore our streams, ponds and lakes. Local ordinances explain when buffers and BMPs are required.
Buffers are “no build zones” along local waterways. The buffer is a strip of land with a mix of grasses, trees and other vegetation. Plants in the buffer stabilize creek banks to reduce erosion, shade the water to keep it from getting too hot, and provide aquatic and wildlife habitat.
Step-by-step explanation of buffer requirements
Watch a video about stream buffers
Buffer along a wetland in Cornelius
This detention pond in Hidden Valley is
a storm water BMP
Buffers are one type of storm water tool used to protect streams and lakes. Other tools are BMPs which would include:
- rain gardens/bio-retention cells
- vegetated swales
- wet ponds
BMPs do more than improve water quality. They temporarily detain storm water and release it at a slower rate into storm drains, streams, rivers and lakes. This can reduce the risk of erosion and some flooding.
Storm Water Services capital projects with BMPs
Requirements for mandatory buffers and storm water BMPs are included in the following:
Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM)
Post Construction Controls
Water Supply Watersheds
Huntersville Low Impact Development
More information about Buffers and BMPs
Charlotte-Mecklenburg BMP Standards Manual
Water Quality Buffer Guidelines and Application for Buffer Disturbance (lake and stream buffers)
City of Charlotte Pilot BMP Program
BMP Inspections outside the City of Charlotte
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