Runoff from rain and melted snow skips the water treatment plant. Called stormwater, this runoff acquires pollutants as it travels into creeks and streams, then journeys into rivers and oceans, along with the pollutants.
As Colorado enters springtime, the winter’s snow begins to melt and rain falls rampant. Whereas some of the water seeps into the ground or evaporates, some runs across the land instead. As it travels, it picks up pollutants, including animal feces, pesticides and fertilizers, sediment from construction, trash and car oil, which it carries into bodies of water. This dangerous mix of pollutants and dirt poses threats to aquatic life and safe drinking water for humans.
The federal Clean Water Act requires large towns and cities to manage stormwater using best practices to avoid polluted runoff.
To reduce the amount of polluted runoff, citizens must upkeep their vehicles to avoid oil drips, pick up after their pets, and throw away their waste. To further prevent pollution, people should fertilize their lawns after rainy season, to prevent pesticide build-up in water, or refrain from using lawn-care products entirely, if possible.
Pollutants threaten the air, water and land, and increasingly so in the modern world. Stormwater heavily pollutes bodies of water: the number one cause in most states. Citizens can actively reduce this threat by increasing awareness of proper waste management.
Think about what goes down the storm drain. It’s more dangerous than one may assume.
For additional information, questions, or comments, please contact the Front Range Community College – Westminster Campus Facilities Services Department at (303) 404-5399.
Written by Kayla Klein
Photo provided by Mike Baranovic, FRCC-WC Facilities Supervisor