When left unchecked, stormwater can have devastating effects on private and public property, like soil erosion, flooding, and/or diminished water quality. As such, implementing an effective stormwater management system is critical. The following article provides an overview of stormwater management, including what it is, why it’s important, and how to best to implement it.
What Is Stormwater?
Stormwater refers to any precipitation that stems from nature, including rain, snow, or hail. In natural environments, it is largely absorbed by the ground or into larger bodies of water—such as ponds, lakes, and rivers—where it is quickly filtered and reentered into the natural water cycle. However, in more developed environments—towns and cities—fabricated structures like buildings and roads prevent the water from soaking into the ground. As a result, it has a higher tendency to flow across these surfaces as runoff.
Runoff poses several issues to community members and businesses and the surrounding environment, such as:
- It picks up contaminants and debris from the ground, causing pollution levels in local waterways to increase.
- It disturbs and displaces soil, causing soil erosion and sedimentation.
- It overfills storm drains, causing localized flooding that pours into streets or waterways.
All of the above issues can have devastating effects on human health and property. In particular, overflowing storm drains may result in untreated sewage entering into homes and businesses or local water sources.
What Is Stormwater Management?
Stormwater management is a method of decreasing the amount of stormwater runoff that propagates in urban and developed areas to minimize the amount of pollutants entering local water sources. Some examples of stormwater management solutions include the integration of pervious—rather than impervious—surfaces to help water absorption, additional gray infrastructure—such as culverts, gutters, and storm sewers—to reduce the risk of sewer systems overflowing, and blue/green infrastructure to facilitate the maintenance of the natural water cycle.
Ultimately, all of the above solutions seek to reduce the amount of runoff and/or pollutants entering the local water system to protect communities by preventing the following:
- Soil and stream erosion
- Water contamination
Design, Installation, and Maintenance Considerations for Stormwater Management Systems
Both homeowners and business owners should implement and maintain stormwater management systems on their lands to effectively safeguard a community from property damage, water pollution, and other runoff-related issues. The exact type employed depends on the particular piece of property, including its needs, the surrounding environment, and the climate conditions.
Catch basins—also sometimes referred to as storm drains—are integral components of many public and private stormwater management systems. They are drainage structures designed and engineered for the sole purpose of collecting and detaining runoff before it is transported through a network of underground pipes, culverts, and drainage ditches to local waterways.
Although simple in design, catch basins can be arduous to install. The installation process is as follows:
- Determining and marking the installation area
- Digging the hole for the basin and trenches for the drainpipes
- Installing and securing the basin with gravel, stone, or concrete
- Laying and attaching the drainage pipes
- Testing the system
- Backfilling hole and trenches
- Compacting the soil to eliminate voids that could cause structural or drainage issues
Once installed, they require regular maintenance to ensure the stormwater management system continues to run properly. At a minimum, they should be cleaned and inspected every year. Generally, such operations include identifying and removing any debris flowing through the system and material buildup sitting at the bottom of the drain.
Service Your Storm Drain Today!
Stormwater management systems are critical to protecting your property and the environment. In addition to proper selection, proper maintenance is key to ensuring the systems run as intended. For all your catch basin and storm drain cleaning needs, turn to the experts at Service Pumping & Drain.
At Service Pumping & Drain, we have extensive experience cleaning catch basins, storm drains, and other stormwater management systems. Our service offerings include preventative maintenance and 24/7 emergency maintenance to ensure our customers’ systems remain in proper working order. For additional information about our cleaning capabilities, contact us today.