The need for stormwater management has increased significantly in recent years. Channeling rainwater runoff and reducing melted snow from lawns, streets, and other urban areas facilitates the need for stormwater maintenance services more than ever. Stormwater maintenance helps to reverse the negative impact of flooding caused by human and agricultural activities, including high numbers of urban infrastructure constructions.
What is stormwater?
It is the runoff water that comes from rain and melting snow. In the usual situation, the stormwater infiltrates to the ground or even evaporates. This is true in habitats like forests where soil absorbs a significant amount of stormwater. Thanks to the large number of plants that can hold the soil and prevent run-offs. The presence of plants, leaves, stems, and grass can slow down the run-off process. It ensures that the water drains to the rivers and underground gradually.
Stormwater management is the need of the hour
In urban regions, the numbers of plants are limited, and the pavements and road surfaces are made in a manner that enables only a little water to infiltrate the ground. The outcome is a frequent surface run-off, thereby making stormwater management essential. The management service helps to eliminate or reduce rainwater, and melted snow run-off from urban streets, lawns, and other areas. Thus, the quality of the water improves, preventing harmful chemicals, heavy metals, bacteria, and eroded soil from draining into streams, rivers, lakes, oceans, wetlands, etc.
Effects of stormwater run-off
When stormwater run-off flows over surfaces like parking lots, paved streets, and rooftops of buildings, it acquires pollutants, debris, chemicals, and sediments. This renders negative consequences to the natural and environmental resources. Some of the stormwater run-off effects are:
- Harming coastal and inland water
- Increase flooding instances
- Change the quality of water
- Cause modifications in the habitat
- Loss of habitat
- Increase in soil erosion
- Increase in soil sedimentation
- Decrease in the aquatic biological diversity
To avoid the above-mentioned negative effects of surface water run-offs, stormwater maintenance services must be initiated.
Why consider incorporating stormwater management?
Maintain hydrologic cycle
Stormwater management plays a key role in the maintenance of healthy lakes, streams, and aquatic life and also supports human uses. Overall, stormwater management helps to maintain and facilitate the natural hydrologic cycle. Without proper management services, infiltration reduces soil replenishments and even proper groundwater filtration.
The presence of soil moisture is necessary for vegetation. Therefore, it is evident that stormwater management plays a critical role in maintaining the hydrologic cycle of nature. When the groundwater recharge is lost, it reduces the flow that exists in the streams helpful for sustaining aquatic life. Moreover, stormwater management also helps with underground water replenishment ensuring people have enough water for agricultural and domestic purposes.
Eliminates the risk of flooding
When stormwater maintenance services are implemented, flooding can be kept at bay. Urban areas that incorporate effective stormwater management have lower flooding risks. Thus, such areas are also less prone to experience the detrimental effects of flooding. Urban areas with less vegetation are more vulnerable to flooding upon heavy rain unless effective stormwater management is included. The thunderstorms in such areas are also more which increases the run-off scenarios. Flooding causes loss of property and life if proper stormwater management strategies are not applied.
Prevent unwanted erosion of stream
Stormwater management can aid in preventing unwanted erosion of streams by reducing the amount and speed of water accumulating in the streams. In case, stormwater is not effectively managed, erosion can be prevented enabling the normal functioning of the streams. Without proper management of stormwater, the river and stream flooding can negatively impact the lives of the communities in the surrounding.
A flooded river or a stream will cause the banks to break because of excess water, thereby destroying crops and farmlands. Furthermore, excessive river and stream water can also bring in the shape of the streams. This can modify the streambed sediment and meander pattern distribution. It can also cause a decline in animal and plant diversity.
Safeguard the quality of water
Stormwater management plays a vital role in ensuring and maintaining the quality of stream and river water. Contaminants like oil, grease, plastic, metals, pesticides, and day-to-day materials start accumulating on the surface. With inefficient stormwater handling, the contaminants get carried to water sources and even groundwater. It won’t be wrong to mention that pollution is significantly higher in urban areas.
One will be surprised to know that the brake pad and tire wear and tear, pavement damage, spills, and emissions from automobiles can find their way to groundwater and even other water sources like streams, rivers, seas, etc. With the incorporation of stormwater maintenance services, the pollutants can be eliminated before getting mixed into water bodies, and groundwater.
Eliminates soil erosion
Stormwater can create havoc in agricultural lands. It can impact land productivity by washing away the top-rich soil cover. The productivity of farms is lowered as the stormwater can carry plant manure along with the topsoil. If stormwater is not handled properly, especially in sloppy regions, the instances of soil erosion are more. Such lands are not good for growing agricultural crops and plantations. Furthermore, the agricultural expense increases as farmers try to inculcate a good agricultural environment.
One of the vital considerations in stormwater maintenance services is eliminating or reducing pollution. This can be catered to by focusing more on maintaining a good quality of stream and river water. It is significantly important for providing support to the health of the community, normal functioning, and the overall ecosystem. Stream, river, and other waterbody run-offs include bacteria, metals, animal waste, oil, grease, toxic chemicals, pesticides, trash materials, etc. The majority of the contaminants can mix with water bodies which affect the aquatic ecosystem and are detrimental to the functioning and health of surrounding livelihoods. The pollutants are harmful to the environment and everyone around. Therefore, stormwater management must be taken seriously and incorporated effectively to avoid any unwanted pollution and soil erosion. The management services are a must for urban areas where plantation and vegetation are limited.