Storm water – Have a Plan – A Watershed Approach Green infrastructure

Storm water, water everywhere or any drop to drink!” Prepare you recollect this since The Frost of the Ancient Mariner, a verse by Samuel Taylor Coleridge? In the story, the seaman is lost at sea with a dead albatross around his neck, and even if he is surround by water, he dies of thirst because sea water is undrinkable. At the end of the story, the Mariner wakes up the next morning “a sadder and wiser man”. Today in America we are face with a similar situation. There are over 42,000 green infrastructure weaken waterways in the Unit States. A “summary waterway” is a lake, river, river or estuary that is too polluted to meet water quality standards. A “reduced waterway” is the right way to say that Storm water is dangerous to wildlife and human health.info technology hub

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that up to 40% of lakes, rivers and streams in our country are not safe for swimming, fishing, or drinking alcohol. Incredibly, in some states over 80% of Storm water ways are unsafe for these activities.

 

 

Long way in improving Storm water quality:

Over the past 45 years, we have come a long way in improving storm water quality. In the 1960s, Johnny Carson joked that he was taking a trip on the Hudson River. The Hudson River was so contaminate you might nearly walk on it. In 1968, the Cuyahoga River in northeast Ohio burned for the last time. Since 1868, the Cuyahoga River, famous for being the “river that caught fire,” has in fact been set on fire 13 times. These two weakened rivers have helped fuel the environmental movement. In 1972, the Clean storm water Act was enact and the task of cleaning up our pollute waterways began. The purpose of the Clean storm water Act is to restore and maintain the quality of our country’s water by preventing point and diffuse pollution.

Combined with our sewer systems:

In many urban areas, our storm water systems are combine with our sewer systems. When storm water surge occurs, the sewer system is not large enough to handle the amount of storm water from precipitation. Rainwater mixed with wastewater overflows untreated into the nearest local stream. In many cities, sewage overflows can occur with as little as a quarter of an inch of rain. Take, for example, Indianapolis, Indiana, where the city experiences 50 to 60 overflow events each year. Thanks to advances in green infrastructure, we have the opportunity to clean our waterways and improve our environment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed extensive studies that show that green infrastructure or more natural storm water drainage solutions are less expensive than conventional gray water solutions.

Bank erosion:

Shoreline erosion is another issue with our current Green Infrastructure approach to storm water management. To avoid flooding, we quickly collect rainwater, stir it up and deposit it in the nearest body of storm water. The rapid collection of storm water increases the speed and volume of storm water  in our local waterways.

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