The Complete Guide to Stormwater Runoff
What is stormwater runoff?
Stormwater is water that is filled with pollutants and other contaminents. It originates with precipation (either rain or snow). Stormwater runoff is of paramount importance for two reasons:
1) Volume of run-off (potential for flooding)
2) Potential contaminents that the water is carrying
Stormwater either flows directly into the waterways or into a sewer/catchbasin, which will eventually dump its contaminents into our waterways. Contaminants that enter our water can be attributed to a number of things:
- Oil, grease, or coolants from cars and trucks
- Fertilizers and pesticides from gardens
- Bacteria from damaged septic systems
- Soil from construction sites
- Accidental spills from leaky containers, tobacco spitting, etc...
These contaminants can be more damaging to stormwater runoff than larger debris. Whenever it rains, any harmful toxins left on the pavement will be washed into the local waterways, causing pollution.
Stormwater Runoff and the Environmental Protection Agency
Stormwater runoff has become a major source of control for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Compliance and inspections are on the rise. The EPA developed the Clean Water Act (CWA) in hopes of regulating stormwater runoff. The goal of the CWA is to "restore all waters to swimmable and fishable conditions". It was recently ammended and simply states, "nothing but rain down the drain". The CWA also gave municipalities the ability to select from a series of Best Management Practices:
- Adding additional landscaping
- Installing storm drain catch basins
- Sweeping paved surfaces on a regular basis
Sweeping has been proven to preserve the life of the asphalt. It also keeps properties clean and professional by picking up leaves and debris. Finally, sweeping on a regular basis keeps large debris from going down storm drains. Parking lot sweeping will remove those fine dust particles and smaller debris in the parking lots.
Cleaning Catch Basins
Use a truck if there is alot of water in the catch basins. While this can be expensive due to the cost of equipment, it is the only way to comply with environmental regulations. If there is not alot of water and debris in the catch basins, the cleanout can be performed by hand via laborers and shovels. This will keep costs to a minimum. Townships will designate who is responsible for cleaning catch basins and being environmentally compliant.
Barnegat Bay Watershed
Stormwater runoff has been identified as the leading threat to water quality in the Barnegat Bay. As the population continues to rise, more contaminants find their way into the bay, impacting the quality of life. From 2004 to 2009, 100% of all municipalities within the Barnegat Bay Watershed have adopted a Stormwater Management Plan and a Stormwater Control Ordinance. For more information about this program, download our free informational packet.
(732) 886-1940 - www.sweeping.com