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Stormwater Treatment: Forward Thinking Is Needed To Protect Our Water


by Andrew Ciccone April 10, 2019

Urban watershed creates stormwater pollution that destroys our drinking water supply. There are limited if any mandates on the local, state and federal level to prevent stormwater runoff. As it stands municipal agencies budgets are underfunded to control the increasing threats posed by stormwater runoff.

The biggest problem with enforcing new policies and preventative improvements to our infrastructure stems from the lack of protocols within the Clean Water Act. This law needs to be strengthened to add important policies supplemented by necessary funding from our government to make the capital improvements to our infrastructure.

Non-porous surfaces found in urban areas help stormwater surge and at the same time transporting pollutants carried off from parking lots, dumps and other areas where toxins lay dormant until a storm occurs.

Pollutants in stormwater may include antifreeze, grease, oil, and heavy metals from cars; fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals from gardens, homes and businesses; bacteria from pet wastes and failing septic systems; and sediment from poor construction site practices. If not properly managed, the volume of stormwater can flood and damage homes and businesses, flood septic system drainfields, erode stream channels, and damage or destroy fish and wildlife habitat.

Stormwater picks up and carries numerous pollutants into our waterways. Many of these pollutants can cause problems in very small amounts. The cumulative effects of stormwater runoff on water bodies are evident in our streams, lakes, rivers and wetlands.

Many urban areas throughout the United States are not required to carefully control the flow of stormwater nor is there any urgency from the communities to demand critical improvements to control poor water quality.

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Uncontrolled stormwater runoff has many cumulative impacts on humans and the environment including:

  • Flooding - Damage to public and private property
  • Eroded Streambanks - Sediment clogs waterways, fills lakes, reservoirs, kills fish and aquatic animals
  • Widened Stream Channels - Loss of valuable property
  • Aesthetics - Dirty water, trash and debris, foul odors
  • Fish and Aquatic Life - Impaired and destroyed
  • Impaired Recreational Uses - Swimming, fishing, boating
  • Threatens Public Health - Contamination of drinking water, fish/shellfish
  • Threatens Public Safety - Drownings occur in flood waters
  • Economic Impacts – Impairments to fisheries, shellfish, tourism, recreation related businesses
  • Increased Cost of Water and Wastewater Treatment - Stormwater pollution increases raw water treatment costs and reduces the assimilative capacity of water bodies

With the support from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the public we must take steps to reduce and manage how and where stormwater overtakes our water supply and further pollutes our drinking water.

Polluted stormwater runoff is caused by so many of our everyday activities, and we all need to work together to prevent it! Excess stormwater causes flooding and damage that is difficult and costly to clean up.






Andrew Ciccone
Andrew Ciccone

Author

Andrew Ciccone, VP Branding & Media Strategy - Andrew's long strange marketing trip began after graduating from Syracuse University with a BS in Marketing. Andrew then developed his marketing prowess when he moved to Madison Avenue big boys Young & Rubicam, Backer Spielvogel, and Grey Advertising. He went on to get a Masters in Corporate Communications from Baruch College, then went on to start his own agency in 2011 - Hudson Valley Public Relations. Andrew has earned a reputation for creative, smart, innovative campaigns that get results. Andrew's spare time is devoted to sailing regattas, family fun and film. To date he has penned four screenplays.



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