What is Stormwater?
STORMWATER is water from rain, snow, sleet, hail, that flows across the ground and pavement or when snow and ice melt. The water seeps into the ground or drains into what we call the storm drain system.
The addition of roads, driveways, parking lots, rooftops and other surfaces have prevented water from soaking into the ground has greatly increases the runoff volume created during storms. This runoff is swiftly carried to our local streams, lakes, wetlands and rivers which has caused flooding and erosion. The also wash away important habitat for critters that live in the stream. Furthermore, stormwater runoff also picks up and carries with it many different pollutants that are found on paved surfaces such as sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, bacteria, oil and grease, trash, pesticides and metals.
How to Reduce Stormwater runoff?
There are many ways that that we can approach stormwater management such as
1) Low-Impact Development (LID) is a stormwater management approach that seeks to manage runoff using distributed and decentralized micro-scale controls.
2) Green Infrastructure refers to natural systems that capture, cleanse and reduce stormwater runoff using plants, soils and microbes.
EPA has put out a list on Stormwater Management Best Practices that explain in detail a variety of ways to treat and store stormwater at a regional and site scale.