The Dangers of Storm Water Runoff


What is storm water? It is melting snow or rain that flows over the ground. In urban areas, storm water runs over parking lots and pavements. Storm water runoff picks up oil, pesticides, trash, soil particles, fertilizers, debris, bacteria, etc. before flowing into a nearby lake, stream, or river.

There are so many dangers of storm water runoff. However, most people do not know how to properly manage storm water. If storm water runoff is not managed properly, it carries pollutants that can affect the health of wild animals that depend on rivers, streams, and even lakes.

The following are the dangers of storm water runoff.

1. Floods

Urban development changes the natural flow of storm water because of the increase in impervious surfaces such as parking lots, roads, and roofs. Storm water does not soak into the ground these surfaces, so this leads to frequency floods.

Impervious surfaces increase the speed and amount of water flowing over them. Water does not soak into the ground, so it flows over these surfaces. And the water does not replenish groundwater suppliers. Also, poor drainage system increases the risk of flood.

2. Destruction of the Habitat for Water Dependent Species

So many animals depend on water. They live in lakes, rivers, and even streams. For example, fish lives in lakes, rivers, and some live in the streams. Storm water runoff increases chemical pollution, so chemicals are washed into rivers, lakes, and streams.

Chemicals and oil affect the health of the water-dependent species. For example, fish suffocates if the water surface is covered with oil. Oil cover is a barrier that makes it harder for the fish to get enough oxygen. You will find a lot of fish dying because of suffocation.

3. Reduction in Drinking Water Quality

Polluted storm water can affect the natural water resources, this affects the quality of the water we drink. It is hard to get quality water these days because the chemicals, which the storm water carries, get into the water we drink.

This increases the cost of the drinking water because it is expensive to treat or purify water that contains a lot of chemicals. And this will increase the overall cost of living. That is why it is important to properly manage the storm water runoff.

4. Pollution

Storm water runoff can also lead to chemical pollution because of detergents, grease, and fertilizers. And it increases the litter such as cigarette butts, food wrappers, and plastic bags. It leads to sediment pollution due to soil erosion and runoff from construction sites. And it increases organic pollution because of animal carcasses, leaves, and animal droppings.

And the severity of this pollution increases depending on the numbers of buildings and the population of the area, the intensity of the rain, the level of vegetation coverage, the cleanliness of the streets, and the natural attributes of the area such as the dimensions of the waterway and the land slopes.

These are the dangers of storm water runoff. Storm water runoff increases chemical, sediment, and organic pollution. To avoid storm water runoff from affecting the lives of animals that depend on water, we need to properly manage storm water runoff.

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