Stormwater is the runoff from excess rain and melted snow that does not go straight into the ground but instead flows over roads, roofs, and land. In the cities and suburbs, where there are more impervious surfaces – such as roads and roofs – there will naturally be a higher volume of stormwater runoff. Water treatment plants sometimes collect this water, but it often can enter local water supplies untouched.
Why you should be concerned about this
There are harmful materials on surfaces that stormwater flows over. For example, it might reach a road that is used by thousands of cars each day or a construction site that produces toxic waste. As the runoff flows, it becomes polluted by various chemicals, debris, and waste. Even rainwater in a neighborhood will collect the waste produced by pets and other animals.
If this polluted water then merges with natural waterways, the water supply can be polluted. A high-volume inflow of polluted stormwater can fill a river or lake with debris, causing damage to fish and aquatic life. And that’s not to mention problems such as floods and erosion of stream banks.
Another issue is high-nitrogen compounds from excess fertilizer, which will also flow into the nearest body of water when it rains, causing an overgrowth of algae and plants that choke up the water source. Algae like this can create a hypoxic zone where fish cannot live. Essentially, a healthy lake can quickly turn into a green swamp overrun by algae.
Proper stormwater management
The key to proper stormwater management is keeping it, as much as possible, out of pipes and drains. While the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) works to ensure water is properly filtered and safe to travel to homes in the PG and Montgomery County, Maryland areas, there are several stormwater management facilities within these counties that handle stormwater management.
The long-term focus of these facilities is on natural stormwater management as defined in the approach of green infrastructure – an approach that attempts to recreate the natural water cycle. It includes setups such as rain gardens, permeable pavements, and rainwater harvesting systems. This way, instead of it flowing untreated into open waterways, stormwater filters through the ground, replenishing groundwater sources.
Strict regulations of pollutant discharge and reduced use of fertilizer and pesticides will also contribute to lessening stormwater pollution.
In the meantime, stormwater runoff remains a major threat to the quality of drinking water.
Can stormwater impact the quality of the water you drink?
Drinking water can be polluted by metals such as lead, zinc, and chromium. Toxic compounds found in solvents, detergents, and car maintenance products pose a threat. Also, harmful microorganisms and bacteria from organic waste can cause health issues.
All of these are found in stormwater that flows through urban areas throughout PG and Montgomery Counties. Luckily, all water meant for domestic use passes through municipal water treatment facilities. However, if a major inflow of stormwater runoff causes significant pollution, the standard water treatment process may not be enough to make the water safe to consume.
Make sure your home’s water is safe
With the quality of drinking water being so precarious in many regions, and with municipal water treatment plants potentially not being able to cope with a high level of pollutants, many people no longer feel safe to drink water out of the tap.
Some opt to switch to bottled water, but this can get inconvenient and costly over time. A far better option would be an advanced, reliable filtration system that makes sure the water that flows out of your tap is always clean.
With the Hague WaterMax® BEQ filtration system, you can be sure that you and your family are drinking high-quality, fresh, clean water, It will provide you with water that is free of pollutants, sediment, and the taste of chlorine. You also won’t have hard water deposits that cause damage to your piping and appliances over time. Best of all, we offer a 25-year Manufacturer’s Limited warranty.
Based in Maryland, Hague Quality Water of Maryland is happy to answer your call at (410) 757-2992 and provide a free consultation on the optimal water filtration solution for your home.
Not ready for an in-person water test? For your convenience, Hague Quality Water of Maryland now offers a $200 water testing kit that will be mailed directly to you. All you have to do is take a sample of your water, mail it to our lab, and you’ll receive your water test results right back at your door.