With weather disturbances occurring in every season, addressing stormwater management concerns is important. Certainly, US cities and town are following the regulations that the federal government through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated and implemented.
Stormwater management program follows the stringent aims to resolve any issues that relate to public health and safety, water quality and the drainage infrastructure system.
But what exactly is stormwater and how could it affect the Americans way of living?
Stormwater includes water from a rainstorm and melting snow. From the roof and lawns, instead of just letting it soak into the ground, it flows across paved areas into the drainage system. As this water passes through different places, it definitely picks up pollutants and other contaminants before going through the main storm sewer system.
The US national stormwater management program then focuses on minimizing or completely eliminating its harmful effects to the public. The threats of too much rainfall and melting snow are not only limited to the nation’s health and environment. Drainage system infrastructure protection and maintenance also need proper attention.
Drainage system infrastructure is more about the physical components such as the pipes, stream banks, culverts and detention basins. Just like any other infrastructure in the US, the entire drainage system undergoes wear and tear and will eventually be damaged. Pipes erosion and leaks are most likely to occur over time without proper maintenance and inspection.
In last winter’s snowstorms where massive layers of snow accumulated in almost every state of the country, we saw the effects of melting ice. Flooding occurred as storm sewers cannot hold the amount of water flowing. With torrential rains falling every now and then, exhaustion to the entire drainage system is expected.
Managing stormwater means safeguarding public health and eliminating possible hazards through compliance of the Federal Stormwater Management Requirements and Guidance. Developments in hydrology, drainage engineering, and environmental management changed the traditional concept of stormwater management.
Before, it was solely dedicated to designing conveyance system of the fluid to either a stream or river or to a large man-made or natural basin as quickly as possible. Localities with combined sewer system transport this runoff to a wastewater treatment plant.
Now, it includes infrastructure designs that integrate aesthetics landscape, runoff source control, replenishment of natural watersheds and green infrastructure approach.
Considering the trend of increasing stormwater volume, have the government infrastructure management professionals included the redesigning of storm drainage system in their long-term development plans?
Are the cities ready to face the financial demand of renewing drainage infrastructure to cope with current and future infrastructure design factors?