5 Ways Heavy Metals and Chemicals can Contaminate Stormwater Runoff

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As rainwater travels down roofs and roads, stormwater runoff mixes with pollutants found on artificial surfaces before flowing into basins, rivers, and lakes. Capable of contaminating drinking water, killing marine life, and destroying natural habitats, stormwater runoff needs to be dealt with properly. With pollution problems on the rise, now is the optimal time for property owners and corporations to prevent pollution through responsible stormwater management. Learn about common sources of contamination below. 

5 Things That Can Pollute Stormwater Runoff

1. Auto Emissions

Car emissions are one of the most common causes of stormwater runoff contamination. For instance, when a leaking car discharges oil onto the street, this fluid can seep into soil or get washed down storm drains. As a result, auto emissions can introduce petrol, diesel, nitrogen, and other toxins into water sources.

2. Rooftop Runoff

When it rains, precipitation flows off of roofs and onto the ground. As water drips down these surfaces, it mingles with aluminum, alloys, and other rooftop sediments. Hazards occur when this tainted stormwater runoff affects the soil and surrounding vegetation.  

3. Septic Systems

When septic systems are not routinely pumped, sewage can build up inside of their pipes. Over time, the pressure caused by this congestion can force waste out of the plumbing and into the streets. This sewage carries bacteria that can seep into nearby bodies of water.

4. Pesticides

Stormwater runoff can also carry herbicides, fertilizers, and pesticides. Although these chemicals are safe for field applications, if they are introduced into new environments by rainwater, they can cause issues for vegetation and animal life. 

5. Waste Disposal

The improper disposal of waste can contaminate stormwater. Rather than recycling, some construction company trucks will discard wood, metals, and other materials down storm drains. Consequently, stormwater runoff can carry trash and debris directly into the ocean.

With over 25 years of experience, CleanWay Environmental Partners is dedicated to providing clients with affordable stormwater runoff solutions. Located in Portland, OR, our skilled staff is committed to serving customers nationwide with first-rate catch basin filters, downspout filtration units, reliable reverse osmosis systems, premium leachate treatments, and heavy metals extraction services. Call (800) 723-1373 to request a quote and to learn more about how we can help you comply with environmental regulations.