Motor oil floating and swirling on water may be a mesmerizing sight, but it can be harmful to the environment. A 1-acre parking lot generally collects about 4 gallons of motor oil in a year. Most will find its way into the stormwater system, eventually polluting streams, rivers and lakes. In many developed locations, stormwater runoff is the biggest source of water pollution.

How efficient is your storm water system?

Basic stormwater systems make use of drains, gutters, and sewers to transport rainwater from residential and business areas to nearby bodies of water and prevent an area from flooding and the associated damage it incurs. Unfortunately, with an inefficient system, any litter, debris, and other pollution will flow with the water. Stopping this pollution at its source is critical to maintaining the health of existing natural waterways and the communities that benefit from them. For this reason, stormwater systems need to be enhanced, as necessary, to enable better function.

Burien’s storm water system

Officials at the city of Burien in King County, Washington, recently took steps to ensure that stormwater runoff no longer pollutes their surface waters by installing an underground storm water infiltration system that absorbs pollutants from runoff. King 5 News provides more info on the local government’s efforts.

A cleaning system, now installed in Burien, is designed to take in runoff from parking lots or streets where water mixes with oil and other chemicals before flowing down storm drains. Burien, the state and the port authority are all working together on a special project at a city park not far from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s third runway.

Large yellow pipes, now underground, are the arteries of the water-cleansing system. The pipes carry newly-filtrated water to a nearby stream, eventually making its way to the Puget Sound.

The system replicates the natural hydrologic cycle and is a first in Burien when it comes to such a diverse land use development. The Washington Environmental Council got the project started and wants to continue by adding systems to communities throughout the region.

About stormwater infiltration systems

Stormwater infiltration systems minimize the impacts of industrialization on a locale’s waterways by infiltrating stormwater into the soil and filtering out its harmful contaminants. If you would like to know more about how an advanced multi-environment stormwater system such as StormChamber can benefit you, you can get in touch with a representative of a trusted manufacturer like HydroLogic Solutions today.

(Source: Storm water cleaning system clearing Puget Sound of toxins, King 5 News, Oct. 8, 2014)