A Watershed Moment: Stormwater Management

Stormwater heading to the sewer system, then to rivers and lakes. Thanks to yorkcounty.gov for the photo.

On the August 2 episode, Nick Occhipinti, WMEAC’s Policy and Community Activism Director, speaks about the negative impacts of stormwater and how it can be managed.

Stormwater is rain that falls and within 15 to 30 minutes, gathers pollutants such as lawn fertilizers, pet waste, cigarette butts and automobile fluids leaked from cars on parking lots, and flows over impervious surfaces into the sewer system and then directly into the nearest body of water. This is not treated or filtered before it hits our waterways.

A very effective way to mitigate excess stormwater runoff that might otherwise flood roads or even basements is to use low-impact development. Sometimes confused as a large constuction project, low-impact development refers to activities to manage stormwater.

Rain barrels collect and reuse rain water as it comes out of a gutter system. Rain gardens and bioswales (fancy term for a trench with vegetation planted inside) both are used in low areas where rain water usually collects. Specific wet-tolerant native species with deep root systems are used to filter and absorb stormwater before it gets to the water supply below.

You can make your own rain barrel and learn about planting your own rain gardens through WMEAC!

These small inexpensive projects can make a big difference in the health of our rivers and lakes from stormwater pollution.

“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life.  Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30am and 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media  Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *