Where Does It Come From?
When it rains the runoff picks up the pollutants that have accumulated on the roads, driveways, rooftops, and other surfaces and carries them to the nearest storm drains. Most storm drains directly or indirectly connect to a river, lake, stream, or ocean. The negative impacts of stormwater pollution are huge. Following is an overview and information on stormwater pollution and what you can do to make a difference.
What Exactly Is It?
Stormwater pollution can be many different things, including but not limited to: trash & debris, nutrients, sediment, metals, oxygen demanding substances, oils & grease, and bacteria/pathogens. These pollutants have many sources and varying negative effects on the environment. To learn more about each pollutant, where it comes from, and the problems it causes.
What Are The Effects?
The effects of stormwater pollution are numerous and widespread. Beach closures, contaminated water, algae blooms, fish kills, bad odors, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are just a few of the impacts caused by stormwater pollution. The long term consequences of this continued pollution is still not completely understood.
What Can You Do To Help?
There are many little things that we all can do to help minimize stormwater pollution. The diagram on the left shows what should and should not be done in regard to stormwater pollution. We can all make a difference with just a little extra effort.
What's Already Being Done?
Over the past 11 years stormwater regulations have become increasingly stringent. All new construction is required to implement stormwater best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the amount of pollutants discharged. One example of these BMPs are catch basin filters that are fitted into storm drains to collect pollutants as the runoff passes by. The Modular Wetland System is an example of a very advanced filtration system that has the ability to remove nutrients, trash, sediments, metals, and bacteria at high levels.
With everyone's help, more education and better technology it is possible to improve the current conditions for the future of all the earth and all its creatures.