The Nationwide Urban Runoff Program (NURP) is a research project conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) between 1979 and 1983. It was the first comprehensive study of urban stormwater pollution across the United States.
The principal focus areas of the study consisted of:
A major component of the project was an analysis of water samples collected during 2,300 storms in 28 major metropolitan areas.
Among the conclusions of the report are the following:
A very interesting finding of the NURP was that street sweeping was considered to be, "ineffective as a technique for improving the quality of urban runoff".
In 1987, the results of the report were used as the basis of an amendment to the Clean Water Act requiring local governments and industry to address the pollution sources indicated by the report.
About "NURP Ponds"
The term "NURP ponds" refers to retention basins (also called "wet ponds") that capture sediment from stormwater runoff as it is detained, and that are designed to perform to the level of the more effective ponds observed in the NURP studies. Some practitioners may assume that a "NURP pond" design conforms to some particular standard issued by EPA, but in fact EPA has issued no regulations or other requirements regarding the design of stormwater ponds. (However, some states and municipalities have issued stormwater design manuals, and these publications may include a reference to a "NURP pond".)