In most cities and towns where the streets have been paved, rain and melted snow does not get absorbed into the ground as it should. It usually becomes surface run off and flows into drains, ditches and sewers. This, also called storm water, causes a lot of damage in terms of destruction of infrastructure, erosion of stream banks, pollution, and flooding. Storm water management is the harnessing and utilization of this resource. This concept has several benefits.
The greatest benefit of this concept is the control of soil erosion. Soil erosion is known to cause downstream sedimentation. With the implementation of control measures, the cost of treating the same and dredging is either reduced or eliminated completely. This raises the value of properties that are prone to such occurrences.
Excessive surface run off usually ends up in the sewerage system. Do to the increased inflow into the treatment facilities, the cost of sewerage treatment increases drastically. Effective management of this liquid leads to the reduction of costs and improvement in the treatment process.
It usually collects all sorts of contaminants as it flows over the surface. This greatly increases pollution in the area where the same settles. It can lead to environmental degradation and the spread of disease and infections. Proper management of this protects the environment and the health of people.
Wildlife habitats are usually destroyed by the pollution and flooding that is caused by this phenomenon. By implementing the proper structures, habitats are saved from such destruction. This helps in the preservation of rare animal species by protecting their natural habitat.
Managing surface run off usually costs developers a lot of money. This is because they have to invest in infrastructure such as pipes to control the raging waters. The management of this resource does not require the installation of expensive infrastructure but instead makes use of Low Impact Development. This is far less costly as it reduces the cost of maintenance. It also increases the esthetical value of the land.
Flood control is probably the greatest benefit derived from this concept. Flooding during heavy rains is a major concern for many cities and towns. Many municipalities have to deal with such issues periodically. This is largely due to the increase in impenetrable surfaces as a result of development. The natural of the earth usually slows down and absorbs most of the surface runs. However, paved streets and roofed houses have reduced the natural surface drastically hence leading to increased speed and volume of surface run off. To curb this menace it is important to set in place measures to control and harness this resource. This turns it from a menace into a useful resource.
Storm water management clearly improves quality of life. With proper policies and implementation, it can greatly help preserve the environment and reduce damage to infrastructure. It is therefore very important for authorities to educate communities on the benefits derived from this concept. It is best to mitigate against impending disaster other than remedy an already existing one.
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