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Storm Water Runoff. Causes, Harmful E ffects, and H ow to Prevent T hem. Runoff – What is it?. S uburban areas are covered with buildings and pavement The impermeable surfaces prevent water from infiltrating into the ground The water that does not infiltrate is called runoff

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storm water runoff

Storm Water Runoff

Causes, Harmful Effects, and How to Prevent Them

runoff what is it
Runoff – What is it?
  • Suburban areas are covered with buildings and pavement
    • The impermeable surfaces prevent water from infiltrating into the ground
  • The water that does not infiltrate is called runoff
    • Harmful to water quality
      • Carries pollutants like oil, dirt, chemicals, and lawn fertilizers directly into the bodies of water
runoff what is it1
Runoff – What is it?

Natural landscapes with vegetation are able to filter water slowly into the ground

Forests and vegetation are especially helpful for limiting runoff in small flood events

effects of runoff
Effects of Runoff
  • Pollutants in runoff contaminate water sources
    • Sediment
    • Oil
    • Grease
    • Toxic chemicals
    • Pesticides
    • Viruses and bacteria
    • Road salts and metal
runoff in long island sound
Runoff in Long Island Sound
  • The sediment going into the Long Island Sound makes it one of the 1o most contaminated coastal locations in the U.S.
    • Copper concentrations are often found exceeding toxic levels
    • This contaminated sediment harms fish, wildlife, and vegetation.
runoff in long island sound1
Runoff in Long Island Sound
  • Contaminated sediment is having a notable effect on the Long Island Sound
    • Study was completed on dissolved metals using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy on an organic extraction in the Long Island Sound
    • Revealed as much as 218.2 pM of Ag (silver), 2.25 nM of Cd (cadmium), 25.13 nM of Cu (copper), and 499.8 pM of Pb (led)
runoff in long island sound2
Runoff in Long Island Sound

Especially after a heavy rain/snow storm, the rain and melted snow carries all the pollutants like fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil from the driveways, streets and lawns and deposits them directly into the Long Island Sound

Almost all pollutants left on streets or driveways will eventually end up in the Sound

runoff in long island sound3
Runoff in Long Island Sound
  • According to the National Coastal Pollutant Discharge Iinventory, urban runoff is the third largest source of contamination in the Long Island Sound
    • About 80% comes from coastal cities on the western half of Long Island
      • From Suffolk County to New Haven County
    • 20% of chromium, 7% of nitrogen, and 5% of arsenic contaminants from croplands
how you can prevent runoff
How You Can Prevent Runoff
  • There are many easy things citizens on Long Island can do to prevent harmful runoff including
    • Replacing grass lawns with native vegetation
    • Using fertilizers sparingly (and not before rainstorms)
    • Sweep driveways and sidewalks instead of using a hose
    • Picking up after pets
    • Checking cars for leaks
    • Properly storing and disposing of chemical wastes
    • Having sewage systems regularly checked
    • Conserving water to extend life of septic systems
how you can prevent runoff1
How You Can Prevent Runoff
  • Some methods are difficult for individuals to complete, but you can appeal to local governments to
    • Encourage use of porous pavements
    • Implement pollution prevention strategies
    • Reduce development impacts
    • Maximize surface roughness, infiltration, and flow paths
citations
Citations

Caspan, et al. "Identification of Runoff Processes: The Impact of Different Forest Types and Soil Properties on Runoff Formation and Floods." Journal of Hydrology 409.3-4 (2011): 637-39. GeoRef. Web. 23 Mar. 2012.

Coefield, Sarah. "EPA to Staunch Flood of Storm Water Runoff Polluting U.S. Waterways: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is Gearing up to Tighten Old Storm Water Rules." Environmental Health News 17 Feb. 2010: n. pag. Scientific American. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=stormwater-runoff>.

Environmental Protection Agency. "Clean Water is Everybody's Business." Protecting Water QualityFrom Urban Runoff Feb. 2003: n. pag. Environmental Protection Agency. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://www.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/nps_urban-facts_final.pdf>.

Long Island Sound Study. N.p., 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. <http://longislandsoundstudy.net/>.

Rasmussen, Teresa J., and Heather C. Schmidt. "Storm Water Runoff: What it is and Why it is

Important in Johnson County, Kansas." USGS: Science for Changing the World 2009: n. pag. GeoRef. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2009/3103/pdf/ FS2009-3103.pdf>.

Sweeney, Allison, and Sergio A. Sañudo-Wilhellmy. "Dissolved Metal Contamination in the East River– Long Island Sound System: Potential Biological Effects." Marine Pollution Bulletin 48.7-8 (2003): 663-70. GeoRef. Web. 23 Mar. 2012.

Wolfe, D. A., et al. "Environmental Quality of Long Island Sound: assessment and Management Issues." Estuaries and Coasts 14.3 (1991): 224-36. SpringerLink. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. <http://www.springerlink.com/content/x173470568432804/fulltext.pdf>.