Surface Water Quality


​​​​​​​​​​​​Stormwater Management Program Protects Surface Water Quality

The City's Stormwater Management Program works to preserve, protect andSurface Water Quality_Nature.jpg restore the integrity of Virginia Beach's extensive network of streams and wetlands.

Unfortunately, many of these streams have poor water quality, caused primarily by historical stormwater management practices and urbanization. Eighteen streams in Virginia Beach are designated by the state as "impaired." Impaired waters are not clean enough to support swimming, fishing, or diverse and abundant aquatic life. Regulations and permit requirements designed to improve these impaired streams can be found on​​ the Stormwater Regulations webpage.​​​​

Impaired waters are identified and assigned a "pollution diet" called a total maximum daily load (TMDL), which identifies the maximum amount of various types of pollutants (such as nitrogen and phosphorus) that can be released into the impaired waters. Recent models show that water quality in Virginia is improving, thanks in part to these pollution diets. Additionally, the City partners with Hampton Roads Sanitation District to support its Sustainable Water Initiatives for Tomorrow (SWIFT) project. SWIFT will reduce nutrient and sediment discharges from wastewater treatment facilities and also help to recharge the aquifer. Through an agreement with local municipalities, these nutrient and sediment reductions will be applied toward Chesapeake Bay TMDL goals. Learn more about the SWIFT project at​​​.

​City staff are working to implement surface water quality projects focused on improving the quality and usability of our local waterways. Work includes implementing water quality projects identified in the Capital Improvement Plan and monitoring surface water quality to track needs, changes, and improvements.

Completed Projects:​

  • Bow Creek BMP Expansion
  • ​Mill Dam Creek Stream Restoration

Projects Underway:

​            ​​​Protect our waterways. Report stormwater pollution by calling (757) 385-1470.              ​​