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This fact sheet is one of a 15-part series on urban stormwater management practices.
Please refer to definitions in the glossary at the end of this fact sheet. Glossary terms are italicized on first mention in the text. For a comprehensive list, see Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) publication 426-119, “Urban Stormwater: Terms and Definitions.”
Sheet flow to open space (SOS) is a group of best management practices (BMPs) designed to disperse concentrated runoff to sheet flow into filter strips or a riparian buffer. An SOS reduces runoff volume and associated sediment and nutrients that are carried with it (see figure 1). It is used as a stormwater treatment practice in both urban and rural areas. This practice is often used after another treatment practice to disperse or eliminate runoff. In a few cases, an SOS can be used as a pretreatment to remove small amounts of sediment via a vegetated filter strip — prior to a bioretention device, for example.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
September 6, 2013