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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 23, 2023
  2. Green infrastructure is an increasingly popular approach to mitigate widespread degradation of urban waters from stormwater pollution. However, many stormwater best management practices (BMPs) have inconsistent water quality performance and are limited to on-site, land-based deployments. To address basin-wide pollutant loads still reaching urban streams, hyporheic zone engineering has been proposed as an in-stream treatment strategy. Recognizing that regulator and practitioner perspectives are essential for innovation in the water sector, we interviewed U.S. water management professionals about the perceived risks, opportunities, and knowledge gaps related to in-stream stormwater treatment. We used engineered hyporheic zones as a case study to understand interviewee perspectives on an emerging class of in-stream treatment technologies. Interviews revealed that many considerations for in-stream stormwater treatment are common to land-based BMPs, but in-stream BMPs have additional unique design and siting requirements. Here, we synthesize practitioner goals, their recommendations on in-stream BMP design, and open research questions related to in-stream BMPs. Many interviewees suggested pairing engineered hyporheic zones with other BMPs in a treatment train to improve in-stream treatment, while simultaneously reducing risk and cost. We discuss how treatment trains and other strategies might also help overcome regulatory hurdles for innovative stormwater treatment.