You can control storm water runoff with gravel bags to minimize sediment and other pollutants from entering the storm drain system. The idea is slow rain related run-off long enough that the sediments settle or dropout behind the bags. The photo above shows a check dam. Berms are gravel bags stacked along contour lines, which reduce erosion by slowing runoff. Controlling runoff is required on large scale jobs like subdivisions or industrial sites. It might be worth doing this on single residence DIY projects.
Photo credit: Storm Water Thoughts