Highly urbanized cities typically have water pollution problems. As the population increases, so does the amount of street litter and trash, which could eventually contaminate rainwater as it goes through pavements and into the municipal storm drains. For this reason, companies like HydroLogic Solutions, Inc. have taken to building efficient stormwater systems for commercial and industrial establishments.

This begs the question: how bad is stormwater pollution in major cities?

Impermeable Ground

According to an article by California’s Heal the Bay organization, water pollution issues can be attributed to the fact that cities have concrete materials covering most of its surface area. As stated in the article:

“Unlike the soil and vegetation in natural watersheds, most urban areas are covered in impermeable surfaces, such as asphalt or concrete. As a result, instead of rainwater slowly percolating through the ground, getting filtered and cleaned along the way, that water is rushed along streets. Along the way it picks up trash and pollution and flows into stormdrains and out to the ocean, unfiltered.”

Poor Storm Drain Systems

In most places, storm drains are distinct from sewage lines, which in theory makes quite a lot of sense. Several local officials have taken to ensuring that sewage water is treated and cleaned, unfortunately so much so that they end up neglecting the cleanliness of what goes into the storm drain.

Types of Water Pollutants

The types of things that pollute stormwater can be classified into three categories: the first is litter, which comprises a huge portion of what makes many major cities unhealthy. Next are natural pollutants like human and animal waste—products that, while organic, still carry harmful substances and microorganisms. Lastly, there are chemical contaminants such as oil and fertilizers.

Adverse Effects

Sediments significantly reduce the natural light that permeates through the water, endangering the ecology in waterways. Fertilizer and detergents also increase the amount of nutrients in the water, stimulating the growth of weeds and algae that could eventually choke rivers and lakes.

Furthermore, the presence of chemicals and other noxious substances, which could contribute to lowering the pH levels of natural bodies of water, can cause health problems among plants and animals. Large pollutants like trash could end up suffocating fish and other animals that might ingest them.

In short, urban water pollution through stormwater runoff can damage natural habitats and the overall health of the environment in more ways than you can imagine. If you want to help curb this problem, opt to invest in a reliable stormwater system like StormChamber by HydroLogic Solutions, Inc. to ensure water quality and cleanliness in your immediate environment. This is a big step toward protecting our planet.

(Source: URBAN RUNOFF, Heal the Bay)