How do storm drains affect the environment?

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.

How do storm drains affect water pollution?

When rainwater can’t soak into the ground, it runs along streets and parking lots and picks up pollutants. This polluted runoff can flow into our rivers and streams, or overwhelm local infrastructure to cause sewage overflows.

Are storm drains good for the environment?

As these materials are picked up by stormwater runoff and carried through storm drains, they are deposited into lakes, oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water. Simply put, stormwater leads to excess pollution in the environment. Additionally, stormwater runoff can cause floods or even water shortages.

What are the common pollutants from storm drains?

The nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus are the primary pollutants in stormwater. Each of them can cause plant and algae blooms in streams and rivers, including harmful algae blooms that pose a potentially fatal risk to any unsuspecting swimmer or pet dog that drinks too much contaminated water.

How does stormwater runoff affect human health?

Stormwater runoff that carries pollution can also affect human health. Many carcinogens, such as heavy metals that can have toxic effects on humans, are among the pollutants found in stormwater runoff. The contaminated water, carrying pathogens and harmful bacteria, can also be a source of water-borne illness.

Is storm water Toxic?

Polluted stormwater affects sources of drinking water, and swimming in contaminated stormwater can lead to a variety of illnesses, including cryptosporidium, gastroenteritis, and a variety of parasites, all harmful to humans.

Why is stormwater pollution a problem?

Why is stormwater pollution so bad? As polluted water makes its way to the oceans, water quality can be affected, which often results in the closing of local beaches due to unhealthy water conditions. Stormwater carries disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Swimming in polluted waters can make you sick.

Why is stormwater harmful?

Stormwater runoff can cause a number of environmental problems: Fast-moving stormwater runoff can erode stream banks, damaging hundreds of miles of aquatic habitat. Stormwater runoff can push excess nutrients from fertilizers, pet waste and other sources into rivers and streams.

How do you solve stormwater problems?

How to reduce stormwater pollution

  1. wash your car on grass or gravel or take it to a car wash.
  2. reduce use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers.
  3. stop dirt, leaves, grass clipping, etc.
  4. stop soil and mulch from being washed or blown off the garden.
  5. replant areas of disturbed soil.

What are the dangers of pouring water into storm drains?

Everything other than pure rain water is a potential contaminant that degrades water quality. It’s very important that you help prevent contaminants from flowing into storm drains and never pour anything into them. Intentionally pouring water and pollutants into street gutters and storm drains is dangerous to the environment and is also illegal.

What causes storm water pollution?

However, a significant amount of storm water pollution is caused by everyday human activities that are not regulated by the EPA – washing and maintaining cars, littering, watering lawns, etc. There are many simple, basic steps people can do each day to prevent storm water pollution:

What are the most common stormwater pollutants?

Fertilizers and pesticides are among the many common stormwater pollutants that can degrade water quality.   Fertilizers contain nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, that are good for lawns and plants when used properly, but excessive amounts applied to landscapes wash off and pollute streams.

How does the EPA control storm water pollution?

The EPA controls storm water pollution at industries and construction sites by inspecting sites and enforcing the agency’s requirements. However, a significant amount of storm water pollution is caused by everyday human activities that are not regulated by the EPA – washing and maintaining cars, littering, watering lawns, etc.