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.
Uncontrolled stormwater runoff has many cumulative impacts on humans and the environment including:
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.
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Take action today to support water quality monitoring in your community by contacting your local government officials and ask them to support water monitoring legislation in your community.