Leaks and floods aren’t the only things to worry about when the rain starts pouring heavily. The water that enters the drainage and sewers also creates a big problem. In Carroll County, for instance, Alison Prost writes to Baltimoresun.com that many people don’t know the dangers of stormwater, and goes on to state that “most people probably wouldn’t let their child bathe in a storm drain. Yet, allowing him or her to swim or wade in many of the creeks and rivers of Carroll County after a heavy rainstorm is virtually the same thing.”
You may think that taking a dip in a creek or river isn’t so bad because people even like dancing (or singing) in the rain. However, the water isn’t really the problem here. The concern of Prost lies in what the water contains.
What is storm water? Our suburban and city landscape is covered with all manner of filth and contaminants — dog feces, lawn fertilizer, oil and pesticides to name a few. A storm effectively hoses this mess straight — and fast — into nearby creeks. Unlike sewage, polluted runoff isn’t treated. The more parking lots, streets and other hard surfaces, the worse the problem.
The danger here, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, isn’t just for swimmers but also for plant and aquatic life as many of these pollutants can destroy natural habitats and cause algae to bloom. Bacteria and pathogens are also released into the water, and debris and waste threaten the health of birds and other animals.
While urban forests have been seen as a viable solution, another way to manage stormwater is by constructing stormwater systems that allow water to flow into chambers where they are filtered for sediments. Water flows down from drains in areas where it might pool and arrive in a catch basin where larger sediments are collected before it continues to flow. Then, the water passes through pipes where pollutant traps are set up to serve as filters.
Having an effective stormwater system can help in keeping bodies of water clean and thriving for people to enjoy. Many companies like HydroLogic Solutions, Inc. offer low-cost and effective solutions, such as their StormChambers, for managing stormwater runoff as well as other methods to treat and reuse rainwater for many residential and commercial purposes.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Letter: Storm water fee has clear benefit for Carroll County residents, The Baltimore Sun, June 10, 2013)