Storms occur naturally everyday across the planet producing stormwater runoff; it is simply fact of life. Stormwater runoff occurs when rain or snowmelt flows over the ground which can pick up pollutants like pesticides, oils chemicals and dirt. As cities grew, the land was increasingly covered with impervious surfaces like concrete and asphalt roadways, blocking the stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the soil. Many people don’t realize that this untreated and polluted runoff flows directly into our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans endangering our most precious resource – water.
Water Conservation & Prevention Can Solve the Problem
Interestingly, a phenomenon called urban heat island (UHI) can impact the amount of rainwater produced in our cities and other populated regions. The pollution from our car exhaust and other sources can lead to cloud production, thus increasing the chance of rain. While our desire for water conservation is high, we can’t reasonably assume that we can stop modernization, so we need to identify ways to manage stormwater runoff effectively.
By implementing the following stormwater pollution prevention tips you can reduce your impact on the environment and help ensure our water resources remain clean.
Fertilizers and pesticides that are used on lawns and gardens wash away and pollute the stormwater. Do not fertilize if excessive rain is expected and don’t exceed the recommended amounts of the products. There are organic and low impact fertilizer and pesticide products available, be sure to check with your local store to compare products. Find organic fertilizer and green garden supplies now.
Our furry friends are also a major source of excess nutrients and bacterial pollution in stormwater. Picking up after your pets is not only polite but will help the environment at the same time. According to the EPA, flushing pet waste is the most environmentally friendly of disposal.
Direct your downspouts and gutters into your lawn, garden or other containment methods. It is best to allow the stormwater to naturally soak into the soil as opposed to going down the storm drain. Consider using xeriscaping to further enhance your water conservation techniques.
Washing your car in your yard while using a biodegradable soap allows the water to filter back into the soil. You can also use a commercial car wash that recycles or treats the wastewater before releasing into the drains. Shop for green car care products on Amazon.com.
Using mulch, bricks, gravel or other porous materials for driveways and walkways will allow water to flow through the surface and seep back into the soil.
Storms can help rejuvenate the air and soil helping keep Earth healthy, though if we are not aware of the impact of our choices, we can’t lead a sustainable lifestyle. Protect our most precious resource by reducing the impact stormwater runoff has on Earth’s water supply.