City of Collegedale

Natural & Beneficial Functions

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Functions of Floodplains

Water courses and floodplains that are relatively undisturbed limit stormwater and flood damage, improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, protect habitats, and provide aesthetic and recreational benefits.


Floodplain lands and adjacent waters combine to form a complex, dynamic physical and biological systems found nowhere else. When portions of floodplains are preserved in or restored to their natural state, they provide many benefits to human and natural systems. These benefits range from providing aesthetic pleasure to reducing the number and severity of floods, helping handle stormwater runoff, and minimizing non-point water pollution.

For example, by allowing floodwater to slow down, sediments settle out, thus maintaining water quality. The natural vegetation filters out impurities and uses excess nutrients. Such natural processes cost far less money than it would take to build facilities to correct flood, stormwater, water quality, and other community problems.

Natural Resource Categories

Natural resources of floodplains fall into three categories:

  • Biologic resources and functions
  • Natural flood and erosion control
  • Societal resources and functions