Why There is a Greater Push to Control Stormwater Runoff
As mentioned in our blog post dated 3/9/2012, stormwater runoff is water that is filled with harmful pollutants and other contaminants. When those hazardous materials flow into our waterways, they become unsafe and unswimmable. Stormwater runoff is listed as the single, greatest threat to water quality in the nation.
Impact of Stormwater Runoff
- Groundwater Recharge: can be reduced, thus lowering water levels in streams and ponds
- Sediments and contaminants seep into our waters and reduce the quality of life of our aquatic species
- Contaminants in runoff cause algal blooms, destroy aquatic habitats, and reduce oxygen levels.
- Bacteria and pathogens found in runoff can result in swimming and beach closures.
Clean Water Act
The EPA has implemented Phase 2 of the Clean Water Act which states, "all small urbanized areas must develop stormwater management plans and implement them". Under the new provision, rural towns such as Barnegat or Toms River will have to work to control stormwater runoff as vigourously as Trenton and New York City. Furthermore, construction sites greater than one acre are required to keep sediment and pollution from going into the streams. Previously, construction sites five acres or greater were required to control stormwater pollution. Phase 2 is expected to make 3,000 more rivers and 500,000 more people safer.
These new rules are affecting cities all over the country. Cities must submit new plans to manage stormwater runoff to their local governments. For example, cities within Salt Lake County, Utah, must construct new developments in a way that will minimize runoff and its impact. In Long Island, it has been identified as the most significant source of pollution in the South Shore bays and the largest contributor of pathogens to the East End's Peconic Estuary.
Best Management Practices
Sweeping has been defined as a "best management practice" by the EPA. Sweeping construction sites and other areas on a regular basis will keep larger debris and those small dust particles from going down storm drains. According to TYMCO, an air sweeper is best as it will not only pick up that large debris, but those fine dust particles as well.
With all these measures put in place by the EPA, we should see a reduction in stormwater runoff.
Article compiled with the help of outside sources.
(732) 886-1940 - www.sweeping.com