St. Paul, Minn. -- Cities and developers that need to control urban stormwater to prevent pollution of lakes and streams have a new tool available as of today, when the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency launches a wiki version of the Minnesota Stormwater Manual.
The previous manual - at 850 pages and 25
megabytes online - offered a wealth of information, but was cumbersome to
use. Thanks to Clean Water Legacy Act funding and a design team from public
agencies and private firms, the manual is now available in a web-based format
that can be rapidly updated with new developments.
The newly reformatted manual, which is built
with the same software as Wikipedia, allows users to collaborate with each
other and quickly locate the most recent stormwater information, offering a
powerful tool for those who need to comply with stormwater regulations.
"There is a lot to like about the wiki
platform, including powerful search capability and mobile phone
accessibility," said Mike Trojan of the MPCA's municipal stormwater
program. "But perhaps the most important feature is that we can update the manual
on the fly. We anticipate the size of the manual will increase significantly as
the state moves toward new performance goals for minimal impact designs in
The updates are expected to double the size of
the manual over the next year, so now was the right time to move to a wiki
"There is a great deal of stormwater
research being conducted and it's critical to incorporate the latest
information on topics such as BMP design, construction, maintenance, and
pollutant removal," Trojan noted. "The wiki provides us with a mechanism to
incorporate new information as it becomes available." Unlike typical wikis
found on the Internet, the MPCA will control edits to the online Minnesota
The new wiki manual can be accessed by
and searching for "Minnesota Stormwater Manual."