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Impervious Surfaces And Water Quality: A Review Of Current Literature And Its Implications For Watershed Planning

Elizabeth Brabec, Stacey Schulte, Paul L. Richards

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Impervious surfaces have for many years been recognized as an indicator of the intensity of the urban environment and, with the advent of urban sprawl, they have become a key issue in habitat health. Although a considerable amount of research has been done to define impervious thresholds for water quality degradation, there are a number of flaws in the assumptions and methodologies used. Given refinement of the methodology, accurate and usable parameters for preventative watershed planning can be developed, which include impervious surface thresholds and a balance between pervious and impervious surfaces within a watershed.