Stormwater management is the management of all surface water runoff, including melted snow and ice to ensure the inhabitants of a community and their properties are safe from flooding. It also aims to improve water quality by stopping pollutants from entering waterways and make the water available for different purposes.
However, despite the vast benefits of the stormwater management system, it has some limitations, including expert knowledge required for implementation and installation. It’s also capital intensive although this varies with techniques and sizes. At cypressei.com, they plan, implement, operate and maintain stormwater management installations.
Importance of Stormwater Management
It Prevents an Increase in Surface Runoff Water.
Communities that practice proper stormwater management experience little to no surface water runoff. This is because this technique provides allotted runoff areas where all downpours within a community can be collected, retrieved, or diverted.
The runoff area could be detention ponds, retentions ponds, or other devices that are capable of holding larger water volume than drainage and gutter.
Prevent Loss of Lives and Properties.
Effective stormwater management also reduces property damage and prevents the loss of life, especially in urban areas.
Urban areas are known to have extensive infrastructures and minimal vegetation. These infrastructures make runoff impermeable to the soil, thus, water will accumulate and fill the streets. Flood events such as this have the potential to destroy lives and property.
Also, the lack of vegetation in the cities contributes to this. But if stormwater management is practiced, the runoff water will either be collected into a reservoir or trapped within some devices.
Prevent Soil Erosion and Low Farm Produce.
When rain falls, water will naturally collect and find its way to connect with the larger water bodies. But if this isn’t managed the water will move with high velocity. This movement will, however, result in washing away of the topsoil, a condition known as erosion.
Aside from this, some embedded nutrients may also be flushed along with the topsoil during erosion. This will result in low-nutrients and may not be sufficient to support the growth of crops. Thus, farm produce will be poor.
But if the stormwater management technique is employed, the speed of the runoff water will be regulated and directed to a specific place. Thus, erosion will be averted.
For Domestic Purposes
Another remarkable importance of stormwater management is its use for household purposes. Of course, with stormwater management techniques, the collected water can be stored in a reservoir either temporarily or permanently. Such water can then be made available for different domestic uses, including drinking, washing, bathing e.t.c.
For Agricultural Purposes
Talking about the importance of stormwater management without mentioning its use for farming would be incomplete. Proper stormwater management practices are of great benefit for farmers because retrieved and stored water can be used for irrigation, watering livestock, and other agricultural purposes.
Improve Water Quality and Prevent Diseases
Lastly, stormwater management also improves the quality of water in the community. This is achievable as a stormwater system traps harmful microorganisms, particle-laden, chemicals, spilled oil, heavy metals, and other contaminants and prevents them from entering the water bodies.
Through this, water in the community will be devoid of disease-causing agents and safe to use.
Negative Effects of Stormwater Management
- Expert knowledge is required to plan, implement, operate and maintain stormwater management.
- The cost of implementing stormwater management is also expensive.
- Stormwater management may result in clogging of the filtration system, especially if they have high sedimentation rates.
Devices used to Store Stormwater
Listed below are among the devices used to store stormwater.
- Detention Ponds
Detention ponds are a runoff structure constructed in the form of natural depression. It is designed to temporarily store runoff water and to improve its quality. To improve water quality, water has to be stored for a longer period to allow its sediment to settle.
- Retention Ponds
Unlike detention ponds that are designed to improve the water quality and store water temporarily, retention ponds can provide long term storage. The retention pond is designed to improve water quality as well as to serve as the flood control device.
Retention ponds improve water quality by allowing water to settle inside the soil for a longer period with subsequent gradual infiltration. The larger volume of the retention ponds, as well as constant saturation also makes it possible to control flood.
- Green Roofs
The green roof also known as rooftop gardens is a versatile device constructed with a thin layer of vegetation and growing medium. It’s mounted on the top of the roof and supplied with irrigated treated greywater.
Talking of usage, the green roof helps to trap runoff water and preventing runoff. It also serves as a recreation space for people, as well as improving energy efficiencies. Goof roofs reduce the urban heat effect as well as ensure water balance and quality.
It also gives peak flow benefits.
- Onsite Detention
Onsite detention is the temporary storage of site collected runoff with subsequent slow release into the downstream. This prevents the downstream water from aggravation. Onsite detention is easy to practice and is common among urban and residential areas.
How to Improve Stormwater Management.
- All water sources, including wastewater, must be properly utilized.
- An enlightenment program should be established on how to use and eject water.
- Laws and policies should be made in society.
- Strict penalties must be imposed on all violators of policies.
Factors that Aggravates Stormwater Effect
- Decimation or total removal of natural vegetation.
- Construction of roads, bridges, and other infrastructures.
- Improper use of runoff water.
We’ve come to the end of the article and as you can see, stormwater management is significant in improving the water quality and safety of local inhabitants. Aside from this, it also helps to minimize economic and bio loss by preventing flood and runoff from accumulating in the environment.