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The Implications of Mismanaged Storm Water

After outlining the storm water management process, it is also important to understand what the dangers of storm water in large quantities is to your city, health and environment. If a storm water management system has many flaws it can have major impacts on drinking water, structures and ecosystems.

There are three primary concerns associated with poorly managed or uncontrolled storm water runoff:

During a time of increased peak discharge (high precipitation rates and winds), the conditions create higher volumes of water. These higher volumes of water are unable to penetrate through roads and buildings, leading to the full volume of the rainfall to sit at the surface and expand its volume. The high volumes of water cause initial flooding and then the more damaging effect is the winds and increased velocity of the water. As the water gains volume, it gains weight and the combined forces of gravity and wind move the water faster and faster. The impermeable surfaces do not slow the water at all. Large volumes of water moving at a fast pace leads to erosion once they encounter permeable ground. Erosion has many implications, causing structural damage, rerouting rivers and streams to create future flooding issues and compounding these effects.

Reduction in Recharge
Impermeable surfaces means the rainfall is unable to infiltrate the ground, which leads to the depletion of the ground water. The uncontrolled runoff does eventually find a home, more often than not, somewhere besides an aquifer or reservoir. These fresh water sources are depleted for drinking water consumption but two sources of replenishment (groundwater runoff and direct runoff) are cut off.

Pollutant Transport
Runoff water that does not infiltrate the ground through soil is not afforded the chance to be filtered of pollutants. Worse, as it travels across roads, lawns and construction sites, it collects car oil drippings, fertilizers and sediment. Once the water reaches a destination, it has either collected into a pool of unwanted water (flooding) that is full of pollutants and is dangerous for animals and people alike or it has polluted a larger body of fresh water.

Urban storm water runoff is regularly found with 77 of the 127 priority pollutants. This water is not easily distinguishable as it enters our water table and aquifers, we cannot simply depend on water treatment processes to filter all of the pollutants, as some pollutants would not be targeted by its processes. The priority should be to implement more storm water management practices in areas that do not have them and make regular inspection part of the maintenance of a city's water network.

Deep Trekker ROVs offer a cost effective system for inspecting these storm networks and make sure that they continue protecting our cities, our environment and our health. Contact us for more information on how we can help!