How Stormwater Runoff Impacts Water Quality

Water flowing heavily from old pipe into runoff pondBuildings and pavement contain a large amount of pollution, including oil, fertilizers, cleaning agents, road salts, pesticides, heavy metals, grease, dirt, etc. When rain falls, or snow melts, these pollutants seep into the soil or are carried into surrounding streams and rivers.

This runoff severely impacts regional water quality and exposes vegetation, wildlife, and aquatic habitats to pollutants that can negatively affect the ecosystem. Thus, controlling stormwater and diverting it safely away from streams, rivers, and lakes is essential for protecting the environment’s health.

Ways To Prevent Polluting Your Local Water Sources

Businesses have a duty of care to the community, including capturing, containing, and conveying stormwater before it reaches the local water supply. At iSTORMWATER, our solutions are designed to meet your needs and comply with all applicable environmental regulations.

There are many strategies and solutions businesses can utilize to protect local water sources. These include:

  • Aboveground facilities: These include stormwater management pounds, bio-retention facilities, infiltration basins, sand filters, and extended detention facilities.
  • Belowground facilities: These include storm filters, detention facilities, the Aqua-Swirl stormwater treatment system, and Baysaver Technologies.
  • Preventative stormwater maintenance: Maintaining your stormwater management systems entails inspecting, tuning, repairing, and assessing the effectiveness of your existing stormwater management systems.
  • Flood mitigation: Floods are increasingly common throughout the region. Implementing an effective flood mitigation plan will protect your property from damage and prevent the release of toxic runoff into the water supply.

What Is Stormwater Runoff?

Businesses are responsible for the runoff from their property and can face significant fines and penalties for failing to manage it in a code-compliant manner. Stormwater from rain or snowmelt can flow from paved streets, parking lots, rooftops, and other surfaces. As it flows across impervious surfaces, the runoff will pick up trash, chemicals, sediment, debris, and other hazardous waste that can pollute local waterways. Preventing it from reaching rivers, streams, and lakes helps protect ecosystems throughout Virginia, Maryland, DC, and the regional water supplies that local communities depend on.

5 Common Pollutants From Stormwater

Many pollutants can flow from urban areas into the region’s water supply. Some of the most common pollutants in the area include:

  • Sediment: Sediment negatively impacts water quality and is one of the most important pollutants to contain. Excessive sediment can increase water temperature, dislodge plants from stream beds, and transport heavy metals, VOCs, and many pathogens. It also reduces visibility, making it harder for animals to find food and for vegetation to grow.
  • Oil and grease: Oil and grease spread over the water’s surface. This stops oxygen from reaching plants and animals. It effectively prevents photosynthesis and significantly impairs the health of marine ecosystems.
  • Pesticides: Pesticides can cause abnormalities and mutations within aquatic life. Exposure can damage organs, including the liver, kidney, and brain, and is a known cause of mass fish die-offs throughout the country.
  • Road salts: Contamination from road salts can raise sodium and chloride levels within waterways. Exposure can kill fish, insects, and many amphibian species.
  • Heavy metals: Lead, copper, arsenic, fluoride, and cadmium are common heavy metals found in runoff. Once within the waterway, these heavy metals can cause extensive damage to the kidneys and brains of aquatic wildlife.

Why Stormwater Management Is Essential for Water Purity

Our 24/7 stormwater services are customized to meet your needs and ensure your property has the effective stormwater management required by applicable state and federal codes. We maintain the certifications required to ensure effective protection, including Erosion and sediment Control Certification, Stormwater Management Inspector Certification, and Stormwater Maintenance Facility Contractor Certification.

We offer upfront inspections, clear explanations, and detailed cost estimates. We guarantee our work will deliver lasting results and will always be completed by certified engineers and project staff.

Contact iSTORMWATER to schedule stormwater management services in Maryland, Virginia, and the DC metro area today!

What Are Stormwater Fees?

Experts Explain What Your Business Needs To Know

Water flowing heavily from old pipe into runoff pondUnderstanding how stormwater fees impact you is essential for managing costs effectively. These fees are most prevalent in urban settings where impervious surfaces like roofs and parking lots prevent water from naturally soaking into the ground.

At iSTORMWATER, we specialize in top-tier stormwater solutions in the DMV to help mitigate these costs while enhancing environmental stewardship. If you’re facing unexpected charges or seeking proactive measures to reduce fees, contact us to explore your options.

What Are Stormwater Utility Fees?

Stormwater utility fees are a measure adopted by many municipalities to combat the challenges of stormwater runoff, particularly in densely populated urban areas. Property owners pay these fees to cover the costs of maintaining and improving stormwater management systems, which are crucial for flood and pollution mitigation.

The fee is typically based on the proportion of impervious surfaces on a property, such as concrete or asphalt, which do not absorb rainwater. As a result, larger commercial properties with big buildings or extensive parking lots usually face higher fees than smaller businesses or residential properties. While fees vary by location, they universally aim to fund the necessary infrastructure — like storm drains, piping, and detention basins — that captures, stores, and treats stormwater to minimize the environmental impact.

What Is the Origin of Stormwater Utility Fees?

The introduction of these fees in the United States is tied to other environmental policies aimed at mitigating the impact of urban runoff on natural water bodies. Maryland enacted a stormwater management fee program in April 2012, affecting the state’s largest urban jurisdictions, including the City of Baltimore. This bill was a direct response to the federal Clean Water Act, which mandated reducing pollutants like nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment.

The law initially enacted fees based on impervious surfaces, which are the primary contributors to polluted runoff. In 2015, adjustments were made to allow counties more flexibility in administering these fees, although they remained accountable for meeting pollution benchmarks. Similar initiatives have been adopted in other states, including Virginia, where certain cities have implemented their own stormwater fees to support regional environmental efforts.

Commercial Stormwater Fees in Baltimore

In the City of Baltimore, the fee structure for commercial, industrial, and institutional properties is based on the Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU), which is standardized at 1,050 square feet of impervious surface. Commercial properties are charged $15 per ERU each quarter. Special rates apply to buildings used by religious non-profits and K-12 educational services, which are billed at $3 per ERU per quarter. The number of ERUs for each property is calculated by assessing the impervious surface area, and this figure is then rounded to the nearest whole number.

Baltimore offers various incentives for adopting stormwater best management practices (BMPs) that enhance a property’s sustainability. Credits may be granted for installing rain gardens and rainwater harvesting systems or engaging in public participation efforts. BMP credits must be renewed periodically to continue receiving benefits.

How To Reduce Stormwater Fees

The key to reducing stormwater fees is to work with a stormwater management company that can help your business comply with local regulations and qualify for BMP credits. At iSTORMWATER, we provide comprehensive stormwater maintenance to protect your property and the environment.

Our team of certified engineers and project staff deliver the highest quality of service with minimal disruption to your operations. Turn to us for 24-hour stormwater management services tailored to your specific needs.

To learn how we can assist your business in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, please call us or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

What Is the Clean Water Act?

Stormwater Experts Explain

Water flowing heavily from old pipe into runoff pond

Keeping our local waters clean is essential from an ecological and safety standpoint. If your business deals with waste, sewage lines, or potentially toxic chemicals, it’s critical that you stay in compliance with federal regulations to avoid any potential liability.

The experts at iSTORMWATER discuss the origins of the United States Clean Water Act and how it can impact businesses in the Mid-Atlantic area.

Learn more about the implications of the Clean Water Act today by calling (443) 699-2828 to get stormwater management services in the DMV.

The Clean Water Act Summarized

Originally labeled the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Clean Water Act was first enacted in 1948 to limit pollution of the waters of the United States. Under it, the Environmental Protection Agency has implemented pollution control programs and national water quality criteria for pollutants in surface waters.

The legislation makes it illegal to discharge pollutants into pipes, ditches, or any other system that may lead to navigable waters without a permit. The goal of the Clean Water Act is to restore and maintain our Nation’s waters.

What It Means for Your Business

While environmental compliance is important for any business, the complexities of the Clean Water Act and other regulations can be difficult to understand. It may be necessary to seek guidance on how to meet your business goals while adhering to these standards and when obtaining permits may be necessary.

We recommend that industries, including land developers, municipal governments, construction companies, and industrial businesses, assess their current operations to ensure legal compliance. Otherwise, you may be liable and subject to financial and legal complications.

Get Stormwater Services in the DMV Today

At iSTORMWATER, we help businesses navigate proper runoff management to help protect our nation’s water and avoid fines and legal trouble. With our stormwater management services, we’ll work with you to:

  • Create customized stormwater inspection and maintenance plans to prepare your site for stormwater runoff
  • Perform erosion control measures
  • Inspect, maintain, repair, and update aboveground and belowground stormwater management facilities
  • Provide you with documentation of our stormwater inspections for your records

With more than 20 years of industry experience, we’re here to ensure that your business experiences minimal disruptions. Plus, with our various certifications and understanding of local permitting, you’re sure to get friendly and knowledgeable service!

Call iSTORMWATER today at (443) 699-2828 to request stormwater services to ensure your business operates in line with federal regulations.

Does Stormwater Go Into the Sewer?

Professionals Explain the Process

Water flowing heavily from old pipe into runoff pond

When the skies open up, they can deposit considerable amounts of moisture across the region. As this water flows through drains and gutters, it makes its way down the road, but to where? It’s a common question with a couple of possible answers.

At iSTORMWATER, our team is always ready to give you the answers you need to these questions and more.

Contact iSTORMWATER at (443) 699-2828 to speak with our specialists about the needs of your business in Maryland, Virginia, or DC.

Where Does Stormwater Go?

Unlike the water from your sinks, showers, and toilets, stormwater may or may not go into the sanitary sewer system, where it’s treated, cleaned, and released into the regional water supply. In some cases, the stormwater goes directly into a water body, i.e., a lake, river, or catch basin.

Catch basins are designed to trap and remove contaminants from stormwater runoff before they pollute waterways. Catch basins are lined with various media filters engineered to remove sediment, oil, grease, and other contamination. This process is vital because these toxins can cause significant damage to the local ecosystem. Should this water enter the water supply untreated, it can cause extensive damage to fish, shellfish, and other aquatic life, birds, mammals, and more.

Stormwater vs. Wastewater

Water from your roof drain, foundation drain, and catch basin is deposited into the stormwater sewer or directly into rivers, lakes, or streams. Wastewater has a much more complicated path as it must be treated to remove a wide range of chemical and biological contamination, including oil, pesticides, fertilizer, heavy metals, etc.

As such, wastewater from your toilet, washing machine, sink, floor drain, etc., goes to a water treatment facility. There, it undergoes screening, primary treatment, secondary treatment, and final treatment. Sometimes, the water may be used to generate power or returned directly to rivers, lakes, etc.

Stormwater Management in the DMV

A broad range of local regulations govern the handling and treatment of stormwater runoff. Adhering to these isn’t just good for the environment and the appearance of your property; it’s essential for protecting your business from fines and potentially costly repairs to your facilities.

In the DMV area, businesses must adhere to numerous stormwater management regulations. This list includes the installation, design, and management of stormwater systems. At iSTORMWATER, our specialists can help you navigate these regulations so that your stormwater system is code compliant and effective at resolving the stormwater needs on your property.

Schedule a Consultation With iSTORMWATER

Designing and installing a code-compliant stormwater system is essential for DC area businesses. Because of varying rules in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, our team will help you determine the best solution based on your needs and any governing regulations. We’ll help you protect your business and the regional ecosystems that enhance the beauty and vitality of our communities.

When you need reliable stormwater solutions in the DMV area, contact iSTORMWATER at (443) 699-2828 to schedule a consultation with our stormwater specialists.

What Is a Storm Filter Catch Basin? Explained

A storm filter catch basin is a vital tool for businesses and commercial sites in managing stormwater. Its purpose is to effectively control and filter runoff, safeguarding our infrastructure and environment from potential damage. By utilizing advanced technology, the storm filter catch basin provides a simple yet efficient solution to the complexities of stormwater management. Storm drain surrounded by rocksFor businesses and commercial sites, managing stormwater is a necessity. Stormwater management is critical in protecting our infrastructure and environment from the potentially devastating effects of uncontrolled runoff. The storm filter catch basin offers a straightforward, state-of-the-art solution to a complex problem.

This innovative system is a component of stormwater management that is worth exploring. It’s a strong player for environmental protection that is easy to operate and manage.

Ready to learn more about storm filter catch basins? We’re here to explain how they keep us safe and our waters clean.

What Storm Filter Catch Filters Are For

Storm filter catch filters play an important role in stormwater management. These systems are designed to effectively trap and remove pollutants from stormwater runoff before they enter our waterways or affect the infrastructure of your property.

They work by using a variety of media filters. These filters capture sediments, oils, and other contaminants. This process promotes cleaner, safer water, helps maintain the ecological balance, and reduces the strain on municipal treatment facilities.

Their simple but effective work makes them indispensable tools in our efforts to preserve natural water bodies and provide sustainable urban development.

How They Work

The storm filter catch basin operates on a straightforward but highly effective principle. As stormwater enters the system, it flows through cartridges filled with absorbing materials that trap pollutants. These specially designed cartridges ensure easy maintenance and replacement and guarantee the system’s long-term effectiveness and reliability.

Once treated, the water exits the system cleaner, which reduces environmental impact and aids in preserving our natural water bodies. Plus, this system plays a critical role in helping businesses meet regulatory requirements, helping them to contribute to environmental stewardship while maintaining their operations smoothly and efficiently.

Schedule Stormwater Services Today

At iSTORMWATER, we offer effective, ethical, and transparent stormwater management services. Our team holds professional certifications in Erosion and Sediment Control, Stormwater Management Inspection, and Stormwater Maintenance Facility Contracting. We’ll make sure your project is handled with professionalism and expertise.

Why Choose Us?

When you schedule a service with us, you can expect a fair and ethical approach from start to finish. We begin with an upfront inspection and clearly explain the recommended work. You’ll receive a detailed cost estimate and timeline projection before any work begins, and we schedule our services at your convenience to minimize disruption to your operations.

Our certified engineers and project staff treat your facility with care and respect. We’ll maintain clear communication throughout the project. We’re committed to delivering the highest level of quality and attention to detail. After the job, we conduct a follow-up to make sure you’re completely satisfied with the work.

Our commitment to quality, 24/7 availability, and certified expertise makes us a leading choice for commercial stormwater management services. Protect your property and help create a healthier environment with our solutions.

For top-quality StormFilter Catch Basin services, count on iSTORMWATER. Call us at (443) 699-2828 to schedule your service today.