Be Mindful of Stormwater

Be Mindful of Stormwater

When famed country artist Luke Combs wrote the song “When it rains, it pours,” I highly doubt that he was referring to the potential detriments of stormwater. Why should he? When I am outside enjoying the pleasant post-rain smell that I distinctly remember in my hometown in Idaho, I am considering the beauty of nature, the serenity of life, and the pleasantries of living the simple life.

Unfortunately, living the simple life does mean tending to forget about the less enjoyable aspects of nature. While rainfall can be beautiful and calming, stormwater can be a double-edged sword.

When it rains, then pours, it lands somewhere. In the rural hills in Idaho and even in the skyscraping mountains of Utah, the soil acts as a symbolic air filter. Stormwater can soak through the filter (soil) and then resume its part in the water cycle.

However, in places like Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, or even your own hometown, stormwater has a long way to go before it can effectively soak into the ground. As stormwater hits structures that cannot absorb and properly filter stormwater, they become puddles that drag sediment and dirt along with them.

These situations can bode harmful for us and the planet. When you wash off your car in the driveway, the water from your car has to go somewhere. As it travels, it picks up the dirt from your car and the street before it runs down your neighborhood stormwater drain. These drains are not filtered and end up in our drinking water.

Now, it is not all doom and gloom. There are solutions, and I work with construction companies every day on implementing them. Cities in every state across the US have their own regulations and stipulations for construction companies to make sure sediment does not end up in your drinking water. The EPA and the Clean Water Act are in place to ensure that every company stays in compliance with these regulations, but being mindful of stormwater effects is not a hard thing to do and can help each and every one of us to live a healthier and happier life.

Work Cited: https://pmm.nasa.gov/education/water-cycle