Stormwater comes from rain, snow, and when the ice melts during the warmer months. This water either forms into puddles and ponds or infiltrates into the ground. A significant portion also evaporates during the summer. The problem comes when it runs-off into water bodies as it carries soil, household chemicals, and other contaminants into the water.
Contaminants Present in Storm Water
Stormwater washes away anything along its path and settles in water bodies, where it finally affects our water supply. Such pollutants include the following:
- Sediments from eroded soil
- Debris collected from rain gutters
- Grease, oil and coolants that drip from vehicles
- Fertilizers and hazardous household items
Impacts of Stormwater
Urban areas have the most harmful effects on stormwater. This is so because rainwater collects from filthy places like roofs, paved walkways and parking lots. It flows from grass fields, pitches and gardens saturated in fertilizers and pesticides. It usually ends up in rivers, lakes and dams where it introduces these toxic substances into our drinking water supply.
Here are some of the impacts that stormwater has on the environment and society, such as the following listed below:
- Stormwater collects pollutants and transports them to water bodies. This makes the water undrinkable and dangerous to use in households.
- The pollutants carried by stormwater also kill the fish and plant life that lives in the water bodies.
- It also harms the animals that depend on freshwater sources for survival.
- Fertilizers and supplements carried from gardens and farms harm water bodies. They enrich plants and algae, causing them to flourish and choke the water bodies.
The sad reality is there’s little concern or discussion on the issues that revolve around stormwater. There’s no wholesale solution to such a problem; we all need to play our part and keep streams and rivers clean.