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What Makes Stormwater a Problem

While a rain storm may make us feel like the earth has been cleansed and renewed, a consequence of that rain is large amounts of pollutants including pesticides being washed into waterways.  The list below contains a few of the problem areas.


Excess nutrients

Bacteria and other pathogens 2019_6$largeimg22_Saturday_2019_072729601Photo Credit

Heavy metals

Trash & debris

Household hazardous wastes

Credit –

According to the article in Science daily, “researchers analyzed 500 chemicals in urban stormwater collected during rainstorms. These Samples contained a median of 73 organic chemicals, with pesticides being the most frequently detected chemical group. Eleven contaminants, including the insect repellent DEET, nicotine, caffeine and bisphenol A, were found in more than 90% of samples. The researchers also frequently detected prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals, indicating that the stormwater was contaminated with human waste, possibly from sewage leaks or other urban sources.”

It has become evident that more and more contaminants are carried in stormwater at higher rates that initially thought.

Urban Stormwater: An Overlooked Pathway of Extensive Mixed Contaminants to Surface and Groundwaters in the United States

Environ. Sci. Technol. 2019, 53, 17, 10070-10081
Publication Date:August 21, 2019

Is a great source of information looking into the “Increasing global reliance on stormwater control measures to reduce discharge to surface water, increase groundwater recharge, and minimize contaminant delivery to receiving waterbodies necessitates improved understanding of stormwater–contaminant profiles.”
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