“Most cities do not take sufficient measures to prevent run-off. According to the EPA, 40 percent of US rivers and lakes surveyed do not meet water quality standards. Urban run-off is one of the key culprits” (UN Water, 2016, para. 14). Stormwater runoff runs down such things as roads and yards that causes dangerous pollutants to enter and create damages to our water and wildlife. Runoff is the number one cause of water pollution and in order to stop it we must first understand it. Stormwater runoff carries pollution that can affect anyone or anything, and may be solved through an educated, and voluntary public action to stop pollutants from entering our waters.
Stormwater runoff is the water from rain or snowmelt that flows down into our rivers with little to no treatment. It can flow from many places such as streets, lawns, driveways, walkways, parking lots, and roofs. According to the American Journal of Public Health (2003), “Stormwater also picks up pollutants as it flows across land surfaces. Pollutants include sediment, pesticides, fertilizers, bacteria and disease” (p. 1). The pollutants that contaminate our water ranges from anything such as pesticides from lawns or gardens, oil, failing septic systems, to even soap and dirt from washing your car. Some of these pollutants contain significant concentrations of copper, zinc, and lead, which have been proven to have toxic effects in humans such as brain damage, liver failure and kidney failure.
The impacts of pollution in our waters also causes damage to our wildlife. According to WNY Stormwater Coalition (2012) “Toxic substances from motor vehicles and careless application of pesticides and fertilizers threaten water q...
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...t. Also Picking up after pets and keeping animals out of streams, maintaining septic systems, removing parts of lawns, using less fertilizers or even driving less are all ways to help the solution to stop pollutants from entering rivers or lakes caused by stormwater runoff.
Measures to prevent runoff are not being taken into action even though 40 percent of US rivers and lakes surveyed do not meet water quality standards. Stormwater runoff is a terrible dilemma that we need to take care of in our community because it carries pollution that can affect anyone or anything, but can easily be solved through an educated, and voluntary public action to stop pollutants from entering our waters. I decided to help out with this problem because I care for the environment and I realized that stormwater runoff is a big problem that little of us understand or manage.
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