The phrase “stormwater” doesn’t sound particularly threatening. Occasionally, every area experiences storms, and very often those storms create water that finds its way into our lawns, into fields, and in some cases, into our sewers. The truth of the matter, however, is that stormwater can be a lot more dangerous than many people realize, particularly when it comes to the health of our environment.
There are a number of ways in which stormwater can be detrimental to the environment, all of which occur because this polluted runoff flows over impervious surfaces and collects pollutants along the way.
There is no instance in which unexpected flooding is a good thing for an environment, especially if the stormwater is coming from an unexpected place and is carrying pollutants. Yes, flooding can cause significant damage to public and private property, but it also changes ecosystems and poses threats to the plants and animals that reside there.
When water can’t simply seep into soil as intended, it rolls along impervious surfaces like sidewalks and roads, gathering mass and speed until it ends up seeping back into natural areas. In these instances, streambanks can grow clogged with polluted sediment, blocking natural waterways.
Widened Stream Channels
Another problem that flooding associated with stormwater runoff can cause is widened stream channels, which can spill over riverside vegetation and even decrease the value of land near those areas.
Damaged Fish and Aquatic Life
When stormwater runoff gains momentum through streets, it is all too easy for that water to pick up old oil and other pollutants and carry those pollutants out to streams and rivers, where they can negatively impact the life cycles of fish and other aquatic life. Sometimes, the same can happen when sewers flood, sending a whole different breed of toxins into area rivers and streams.
Stormwater runoff also can destroy the gorgeous look of an area that had previously gone unflooded. In being overrun with waste water from unexpected origins, a once beautiful stretch of nature can be inundated with garbage and debris, which brings its own set of environmental hazards. The smell that accompanies those items doesn’t help the overall aesthetic, either.
Poor Economics of Environmental Hazards
Recreation-related business and tourism in a polluted area may lose visitors, while fish and shellfish also tend to suffer from the extra pollution. Fixing these areas up and swallowing the associated financial losses are not easy solutions. It can grow expensive rather quickly.
Ways to Manage Stormwater Runoff
Call the experts at A-Team Irrigation visit your property to install drainage solutions so you aren’t part of the problem when it comes to stormwater management. Polluted runoff is a horrible thing for so many reasons, but keeping your own property’s drainage system under control is the best way to make sure that you and your home and business aren’t part of the problem.