You see it every spring after every snowmelt of every year, and throughout the summer after any heavy storm: streets, sidewalks, front lawns, and parking lots sunk beneath stagnant pools or running streams of displaced water. Where does it come from? Where does it go? How is it managed? Is it ultimately clean and safe for the community?
What Is Storm Water
Storm water is water that comes intermittently from rain, snow, and ice melt. In our context, it’s usually a temporary nuisance, one that will eventually disappear by infiltrating the soil, evaporating, or running off with existing ponds, streams, and puddles. Ideally, it’s quickly absorbed and filtered by the ground, replenishing the aquifer.
However, it has the potential to do some serious damage to our homes and infrastructure when it’s not managed, or after a torrential downpour or heavy, fast snow-melt overwhelms the systems in place to manage it effectively.
The Trouble With Storm Water
As water accumulates from weather or otherwise, the ground can absorb only so much of it at a time. So when a heavy influx of storm water exceeds the ground’s capacity to remove it, the excess water can cause a flood that pools together undesirable toxins, pollutants, and debris that end up in our streams and lakes. Excess storm water will also have the potential to run erratically and without warning, causing unexpected erosion and terraforming of properties and their surrounding areas.
If not managed, or if managed inefficiently, storm water can also harbor disease and illnesses, becoming a major public health hazard.
Ways To Manage Storm Water And Runoff
In addition to prescribing helpful information at the consumer level to reduce overflow and optimize runoff, storm water management professionals employ several techniques to manage the collection and flow of excess storm water.
Underground Infiltration Trenches
Underground infiltration trenches, usually about 3 to 6 feet deep, are shallow excavations backfilled with some form of aggregate (often coarse stone) that allow a temporary reserve for excess storm water to overflow until it can be absorbed.
Typically dug on properties 5 acres or less, underground infiltration trenches allow runoff to be absorbed by the permeable soil that surrounds them.
Clean Water Catch Basins
Often called storm drains, clean water catch basins collect excess water that pools in parks, parking lots, and streets. Debris is stopped, allowing water to drain while shielding the aquifer from pollutants and garbage.
Clean water catch basins require some maintenance to remain functional and unobstructed by the materials they’re designed to screen. A clamshell truck uses a claw-like apparatus to remove debris from the catch basin, and will efficiently remove most of the dirt and debris from the storm drain.
A vactor truck performs an even more thorough cleanup, using an actual pump to remove pollutants and debris from the catch basin.
Storm Water Cartridges and Filters
Designed to screen hydrocarbons, antifreeze, metals, and other impurities, cartridges, and filters can be installed to efficiently pump and treat storm water right at the site.
Of course, the several varieties of cartridges and filters are each best suited for a specific circumstance or environment. For instance, while one product might efficiently catch metal, silt, and similar-sized debris, another will be more proficient with filtering oils, liquids, and some smaller impurities. Talk to a professional to learn more about which system would work better for your unique circumstance.
Due to the nature of this equipment and that of their byproducts, regular and thorough cleaning and replacement, preferably done by a professional, is required to keep them operating at their best level.
Reparation Of Runoff Systems
Well managed storm water might pass through catch basins, pipes, and storm ponds before ultimately being reabsorbed by the aquifer. Each of those checkpoints will require regular cleaning and repair to ensure their maximum efficiency and drainage capacity.
This maintenance is important to protect properties, crops, and infrastructure and should be completed by bonded professionals who have the necessary skills and equipment to complete the job thoroughly and safely.
Contact Us For More Information On Storm Water Management
All Septic & Sewer has over twenty years of experience in the installation, maintenance, and cleanup of specialized, storm water management equipment. Their knowledge and experience of drain field repairs and septic system installation and maintenance can provide you with security from nature’s woes and protect your home, equipment, and family for years to come. Contact All Septic & Sewer today for your storm water management needs. Keep up with us on Facebook too!