Water pollution has been growing at an alarming rate as more and more cities are getting urbanized, causing a surge in the need for efficient stormwater solutions. The problem, commonly referred to as urban runoff pollution, stems from everything urban—from residential wastes that find their way to storm drains to industrial byproducts dumped into natural bodies of water. Here are some of the most common sources of water pollutants in cities:


Residential water runoff comes from a host of possible sources, since many of the products people use at home are in fact major pollutants. Chemical cleaners that end up in sewage drains, non-organic fertilizer and lawn products, and even car washing chemicals, just to name a few. Even things that are practically organic, such as your dog’s waste, could also contribute to runoff pollution.


According to the San Diego Coast Keeper website, commercial establishments also have an important role to play in runoff pollution:

Our commercial areas often have large parking lots that increase the amount of surface flow into our storm drains. Businesses like fast food restaurants and bars seem to attract trash and cigarette butts. Dirty mop water poured into the storm drain is a source of nastiness in our rivers.


Industrial waste is perhaps one of the most obvious contributors of stormwater pollution, as factories and manufacturing plants often dump chemical wastes on a massive scale. This is also why efficient stormwater management technologies like StormChamber by HydroLogic Solutions are geared mostly towards commercial and industrial establishments.


States like California rely in a large part on an agricultural economy, so it’s no surprise that fertilizers, insecticides and other crop chemicals also contribute to most of the cities’ pollution problem. The harmful chemicals get deposited into the soil, which then erodes or gets carried off by rain to rivers or lakes, polluting these bodies of water and endangering any life therein.

Thanks to the efforts of city officials and private companies alike, today there are many reliable stormwater management solutions that establishments and cities can make use of. While it’s counterintuitive to cull progress, natural resources should always be taken care of.

(Source: Sources of Runoff Pollution, San Diego Coastkeeper)