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Ways to Help Reduce Polluted Stormwater

How Can YOU Prevent Stormwater Pollution?

By the WNY Stormwater Coalition


What is stormwater?

Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that does not soak into the ground. It flows from rooftops, over paved areas, bare soil, and sloped lawns. As it flows, stormwater runoff collects and transports animal waste, litter, salt, pesticides, fertilizers, oil & grease, soil and other potential pollutants.

What’s the problem?Stormwater Illustration

Rain and snowmelt wash pollutants from streets, construction sites, and land into storm sewers and ditches. Eventually, these empty the polluted stormwater directly into streams and rivers with no treatment. This is known as stormwater pollution.

Polluted stormwater degrades our lakes, rivers, wetlands and other waterways. Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen can cause the overgrowth of algae resulting in oxygen depletion in waterways. Toxic substances from motor vehicles and careless application of pesticides and fertilizers threaten water quality and can kill fish and other aquatic life. Bacteria from animal wastes and improper connections to storm sewer systems can make lakes and waterways unsafe for wading, swimming and fish consumption. Eroded soil is a pollutant as well. It clouds the waterway and interferes with the habitat of fish and plant life.

You and the Upcoming Water Crisis

30 Facts About The Coming Water Crisis That Will Change The Lives Of Every Person On The Planet

 By Michael, on March 4th, 2013
“The world is rapidly running out of clean water. Some of the largest lakes and rivers on the globe are being depleted at a very frightening pace, and many of the most important underground aquifers that we depend on to irrigate our crops will soon be gone.”

Interesting Water Basics groundwater, surface water, hydrology by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Article Credit to and Full article at UNLEDU

It’s a worn-out phrase to say that ‘water is the lifeblood of the state,’ but it is worn out because it is true.”

Long Pine Creek

Long Pine Creek

Although the above words were spoken in the early 1990s by then-Nebraska Governor Ben Nelson, they are still very true today.

Water is vital to Nebraska.  In fact, groundwater provides approximately 85 percent of the water used for human consumption in Nebraska.

With approximately half of the state’s cropland under irrigation (see brief history of irrigation in Nebraska), agriculture, by far, is the leading consumer of water.”

Protecting Our Waterways Starts at Home, Rice Creek Water Shed

The Rice Creek Watershed writes “At this time of year, even the avid skiers and snowshoers are starting to dream of spring.  We are ready to enjoy longer (and warmer days), more sunshine, and all of the wonderful smells and colors that accompany this often elusive season.  Soon Minnesotans will come out of hibernation and begin tending their yards and gardens.  And before you know it, many of us will be on the water boating, fishing, water skiing and enjoying the resource that we are most well-known for across the nation – our lakes!

Caring for Minnesota’s lakes and streams starts at home with you and your family.  We at the Rice Creek Watershed District would like to share the following tips for maintaining your yard and gardens while protecting our waterways:”

Credit for  Story to RCWS Full Story at RCWS

Using Pervious Concrete to Achieve LEED Points

By: Erin Ashley, PhD
Director of Codes and Sustainability, NRMCA
As appeared in Concrete InFocus, a publication of NRMCA, Winter 2008

“Pervious concrete is a unique and innovative means to manage stormwater. When pervious concrete is used in building site design, it can aid in the process of qualifying for LEED Green Building Rating System credits.”

pervious car park

“Pervious pavements function like storm water retention basins and allows the stormwater to infiltrate the soil over a large area, thus facilitating recharge of precious groundwater supplies.

Pervious concrete has been used successfully in many types of construction on applications such as parking lots, streets, plazas, nature trails, and walkways. While pervious concrete can be used for a surprising number of applications, its primary use is in pavement. Pervious concrete is a performance-engineered concrete made with controlled amounts of aggregates, water and cementitious materials to create a mass of aggregate particles cover with a thin coating of paste. A pervious concrete mixture contains little or no sand, creating a substantial void content. Using sufficient paste to coat and bind the aggregate particles together creates a system of highly permeable, interconnected voids that drains quickly. Typically, between 15% and 25% voids are achieved in the hardened concrete, and flow rates for water through pervious concrete are typically around 480 in./hr (0.34 cm/s), although they can be much higher. Both the low mortar content and high porosity also reduce strength compared to conventional concrete mixtures, but sufficient strength for many applications is readily achieved.”

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Let it snow let it snow

Snow on Percoa

“Why use Percoa?”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 90 percent of surface pollutants are carried by the first 1-1/2 inch of rainfall.

Storm water drains don’t typically channel this polluted runoff to treatment facilities, but instead convey it directly into local water bodies. Polluted runoff, if not diverted, ends up in our waterways along with water that is heated as it flows over paved surfaces and into the watershed. The concern being that temperature change in a stream or lake can harm aquatic plants and wildlife.

The use of pervious concrete (Percoa Slabs)is a widely accepted as an effective material to capture, filter and disperse storm water runoff and is among the Best Management Practices (“BMPs”) recommended by the EPA as well as by other agencies

Percoa’s proprietary, patented products can be used for new construction or to retro-fit existing concrete or asphalt surfaces such as storm water runoff basins, parking lots, driveways, walkways, patios, and a myriad of other surface applications where water runoff is a concern. Percoa combats the harmful effects of pollution entering the water supply, and helps reduce temperature changes.

Percoa Slabs because clean water is a global responsibility

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