Stormwater management means to manage surface runoff. It can be applied in rural areas, but is essential in urban city areas where runoff cannot infiltrate the soil because impervious surfaces (nonabsorbent), such as pavement and parking lots.
Management of storm and rainwater has become a critical element in new, modern construction, and retrofits to control or reduce runoff from increasingly large areas of impervious surfaces. The ability to not only mitigate water runoff, but to collect and reuse it has become a vital step towards sustainability and water conservation management practices.
Because of the impervious surfaces in urban areas, flooding often occurs very as a human-made event. Stormwater runs rapidly from such surfaces, which adds to the stormwater drainage systems.
Runoff flows over the ground and into storm sewers, the sanitary sewer system, waterways, or other sites. The more permeable (or absorbent) the soil surface, the less runoff occurs. Impervious surfaces essentially repel stormwater, preventing it from soaking into the land and forcing it to flow whichever way gravity takes it.
When rainfall hits an impervious surface, it meets whatever resides on that surface. That could include road salt, sediment, trash, oil, or toxic chemicals from cars and trucks, pesticides, and a multitude of other pollutants.
Most storm drains funnel rainfall directly into waterways without treatment, bringing with it whatever it carries in a raw state that causes poor water quality in rivers and streams, as well as a good chunk of our lakes and coastal waters.
What is Stormwater Management?
Stormwater management is a major and growing challenge nationwide, with stormwater pollution, flooding, and other impacts imposing serious impacts on water quality, public health, and local economies environmental protection needs have increased.
Traditional stormwater management was mainly used to drain high peak flows away. Unfortunately, this only dislocates high water loads. Modern stormwater management approaches aim to rebuild the natural water cycle to recharge ground water and to use the collected water for irrigation or household supply.
Protecting our water resources and their ecology is a concern in nearly every community. Let’s take a look at some of the techniques used for this purpose.
How Does Stormwater Management Work?
Stormwater management is a high priority and is a matter of public health and safety. Stormwater that does not absorb into the ground moves over rooftops, pavement, compacted soil, lawns, and fertilized fields.
Stormwater collection systems, which include ditches, storm drains, and water pipes, are designed to remove surface runoff and transport it to the nearest body of water.
Wet ponds are also called retention ponds and they protect by holding back water similar to water behind a dam. Retention ponds are primarily designed to improve the quality of water from stormwater flows, but are often employed as flood control devices.
The retention pond has a permanent pool of water that fluctuates in response to precipitation and runoff from the contributing areas. Maintaining a pool discourages resuspension and keeps deposited sediments at the bottom of the holding area.
Detention ponds serve as important flood control features. They are usually dry except during or after rain or melted snow. Their purpose is to capture rainfall and slow down water flow and maintain it for a short period of time. Urban or city areas rely on these structures to reduce peak runoff rates associated with storms, decreasing flood damage.
Tips for Managing Stormwater Runoff for Your Home
The main goal for stormwater runoff management is to slow it down, spread it out, and soak it in. Every action you take to soak up the rain and snow from your property helps to reduce runoff into the sewer systems, streets, and your development. If not properly managed, stormwater willfind its own route and can lead to disastrous consequences to your foundation, basement, even your septic systems.
Most yards can benefit from developing some drainage control mechanisms, such as ditches and drains. These techniques will often divert water away from a homeowner’s foundation to prevent flooding and erosion.
Properly installed rain gutters, leaders, and drains will collect water and direct it to a safe location, away from the foundation of your home.
Use downspouts for drainage from your rain gutters into natural areas where naturally soaking into the ground can occur or directly into a rain barrel to reuse stormwater for gardening, pets, or washing your car.
Infiltration trenches are filled with rocks to attract runoff. These trenches might be placed parallel to driveways or under roof eaves to catch water. A base of sand is covered with crushed stone, then covered with a layer of woven fabric and pea gravel.
Importance of Storm Drains Management
Effective stormwater management planning is a dynamic and ongoing homeowner responsibility. Stormwater management mitigates the damaging effects of runoff in the following ways:
- Reduces the physical, biologic, and economic impact of flooding into the sewer systems or storm sewers.
- Filters pollutants from runoff before they reach the water supply
- Reduces environmental damage from flooding by reducing erosion and decreasing silt accumulation.
- Captures rainfall that can be used for drought mitigation, landscape and sports field irrigation, cooling towers, toilet flushing and other purposes, thus reducing pressure on existing freshwater supplies.
How to Maintain Your Storm Sewers and Sanitary Sewer System
As a homeowner, you can help avoid the problems associated with stormwater runoff by starting with your gutter system and working down to storm drains, you need to keep the system open.
Gutters can become clogged with needles, leaves, and debris causing water overflow. This can cause water damage to your roof and siding, as well as allow water to collect around your foundation. Cleaning your gutters in the spring and late fall can help ensure runoff flows down the system and toward the larger storm drain, which is necessary for maintenance.
Like the gutters, storm drains need to be cleaned and kept free from clogging. Even if the storm drain is created by the municipality, it is usually the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the wash on their property. To avoid backups and clogs in the system, storm drains should be regularly cleaned and maintained, including:
- Removing all trash, leaves, debris, and sediment
- Clear away vegetation that can clog or choke the drainage system
- Keep structures away from drainage area. D o not build a wall or fence over a wash or channel that could cause an obstruction
You can rake away leaves and debris after storms to keep them from causing issues in your storm drains. However, if the debris goes down into an underground drainage system and causes a clog, you may need to hire a plumber.
Call in the Experts
With the amount of stormwater that may build up seasonally, it may be inconvenient to try to keep up with your storm drain’s routine maintenance on your own. If you notice pooling in your yard or around your storm drain, you may have an underground drain pipe that is clogged. Before water ruins your yard or damages your home, give our team a call
From monitoring to water prevention, Delaware Valley Septic, Sewer & Storm can handle any maintenance you require from us. There is no better way to extend the longevity of your storm drains and to keep them from clogging up than with our storm drainage maintenance. The team at Delaware Valley Septic, Sewer & Storm is here to help. Contact us today!