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Wastewater or stormwater which is unable to drain and flow properly through sewers due to a blockage or capacity limitation, or overcharging.

Best Management Practice (BMP)

Post construction, natural and engineered systems that control the quality, rate, and volume of stormwater runoff from developed areas. Examples of BMP systems include rain gardens, bioretention, pervious pavements, green roofs, rainwater harvesting systems, wet ponds, and constructed wetlands.


The process of collecting stormwater in a treatment area consisting of soil and plant materials to facilitate infiltration and remove sediment and other contaminants through physical, chemical, and biological processes. Used as the technical term for a rain garden that meets regulatory criteria as a stormwater best management practice.

Bioretention Cell

A shallow depression in the landscape that is designed to capture and infiltrate stormwater runoff in a short period of time (typically 12 to 48 hours)

Also known as "bioretention area," "basin," or "rain garden"


Partial or complete interruption of flow as a result of some obstruction in a sewer. Also referred to as a stoppage.


Biochemical Oxygen Demand: the quantity of oxygen utilized in the biochemical oxidation of organic matter in five days as determined by Standard Methods and expressed in milligrams per liter.


A fracture or opening in a pipe, manhole or other structure due to structural failure and/or structural defect.


A vegetated area between a waterbody and adjacent land practices such as farming or development.  Buffers are designed to provide soil stability, slow the flow of runoff into the waterbody, and improve water quality by filtering pollutants from the adjacent land.


A pipe, valve, gate, weir, trench or other device designed to permit all or part of a wastewater flow to be diverted from usual channels or flow. Sometimes refers to a special line which carries the flow around a facility or device that needs maintenance or repair.