Water pollution is a big concern all over the world – and in South Africa in particular.
This is because there are few effective stormwater management processes currently in place, and little education in terms of how to stop this water from entering our lakes and rivers in a contaminated state. Below, we answer some of your most common questions about stormwater and polluted runoff, and provide some advice around what you can do to lessen the problem.
What is Stormwater?
Stormwater refers to the water that comes from rain or melting snow. It is the water that is not absorbed by the earth and that ‘runs off’ across the land until it eventually reaches a body of water.
How Does Stormwater Become Polluted?
In an untouched area, like a meadow or forest, stormwater is quickly absorbed by the ground, meaning that it has very little opportunity to ‘runoff’ and pick up pollutants. However, in built-up urban areas where there is a lot of concrete, gutters and man-made surfaces, it takes a while before the stormwater is absorbed or before it makes its way into a lake, river or ocean. While on its way to a body of water, it can be contaminated by things like pesticides, soap, oil, human / animal waste, and fertilisers and, as a result, contaminate the larger body of water itself. This leads to illness in humans, damage to flora and the death of wildlife.
How Can You Help?
It is possible to reduce the risk of polluted runoff by taking the correct precautions. For example, you can make a difference by ensuring that you do not over-fertilise your garden, that you don’t apply pesticides before a period of heavy rain is predicted, and that you dispose of pet waste on a regular basis.
If you are a business owner and you know that your company conducts activities that could cause a problem when it comes to stormwater contamination, it is imperative that you contact stormwater management experts for assistance.
Here at Letsolo Water and Environmental Services, we specialise in stormwater management. Our skilled team works with the client to draw up stormwater management plans which include identification and delineation of all surface water catchments in the affected area, identification of sensitive downstream users of the water resources, and more. Contact us today on 082 821 6621 for information on how we can assist you.