Impacts of Storm Water Runoff

Simply put, storm water runoff, which occurs naturally, is rain or snowmelt that flows over land and does not percolate into the soil. Manmade surfaces, such as roads, sidewalks, and parking lots, can greatly alter the natural hydrology of the land by increasing the volume, velocity, and temperature of runoff and by decreasing its infiltration capacity.

  1. In nature, storm water is absorbed by the soil, which acts as a natural filter, removing harmful toxins. Then, the now harmless storm water seeps into streams, ponds, lakes, and underground aquifers.
  2. In urban areas, storm water falls directly on cement and asphalt pavements and has nowhere to filter out harmful contaminants. As a result, those contaminants are washed into waterways without undergoing natural filtration.

This is a very serious problem that can result in severe stream bank erosion, flooding, and the degradation of the biological habitat of these streams.

Other Ways Storm Water Runoff Impacts Us

  • Reducing infiltration can lower ground water levels
  • Reducing infiltration can affect drinking water supplies
  • As storm water runoff moves across surfaces, it picks up trash, debris, and pollutants such as sediment, oil and grease, pesticides and other toxins.
  • Changes in ambient water temperature, sediment, and pollutants from storm water runoff can be detrimental to aquatic life, wildlife, habitat, and human health.

Storm Water Runoff and the Construction Industry

The soil exposed by construction is especially vulnerable to excessive erosion. In fact, runoff from an unstabilized construction site can result in the loss of approximately 35–45 tons of sediment per acre each year (ASCE and WFF, 1992). This excess sediment clouds the water and reduces the amount of sunlight that is able to reach underwater plants, clog fish gills, smother aquatic habitats, etc.

If you have any questions about the Storm Water Runoff or if you have a construction project that you need completed right the first time, please contact Reliable Contracting by calling 410-987-0313 or visit our website. And be sure to check back here next week to learn how construction workers can stop storm water pollution.

Reliable Contracting maintains a reputation as a leader in the construction industry. Our clientele includes builders, developers, individuals and government agencies. With projects ranging in cost from $10,000 to over $10 million, Reliable can be seen working on Maryland’s roads, highways, airports, office parks, shopping centers, hospitals, churches, and residential neighborhoods earning our reputation by providing clients with consistent quality and dedication to their projects.

Reliable Contracting Company serves the following and surrounding Counties: Annapolis, Queen Anne’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Howard, Prince George, St. Mary’s, Talbot, and Washington D.C.

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Sources:

Developing Your Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan

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