In natural settings, falling rain and melting snow soak into the soil or make their way to streams and rivers. Eventually, all precipitation percolates into the groundwater supply or flows into the world’s oceans.
In urban settings, things go a little differently. All buildings have roofs, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and other hard surfaces that prevent precipitation from absorbing easily into the ground. Instead, runoff is directed into gutters, ditches, and storm drains, where it eventually enters area waterways. All property owners in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC are responsible for managing their stormwater facilities to help prevent flooding, erosion, and water pollution.
What is Stormwater Management?
Stormwater management is the process of understanding, planning for, analyzing, and controlling stormwater runoff. Business owners are required to manage their stormwater systems for the common good of the entire community. After all, water runoff doesn’t follow subdivision or community boundaries.
Stormwater management systems are largely unseen and underappreciated by the general public. However, they are crucial for maintaining water quality and preventing flooding in urban settings. Stormwater facilities take many forms, some above ground and others below ground.
Consider the goals of stormwater management and how it helps the ecosystem:
Decrease water pollution: Soil acts as a natural filter for rainwater, replenishing rivers and groundwater supplies with relatively clean water. This process is lacking in urban settings, where rainwater flows across hard surfaces before heading into storm drains. In this scenario, water carries debris, chemicals, bacteria, sediment, and other pollutants directly into streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands. That’s why one of the primary purposes of stormwater management is to detain stormwater and remove pollutants from it before reintroducing it to the local waterways.
Mitigate flooding and erosion: When excess water falls on impervious surfaces, it runs rapidly rather than soaking gradually into the earth. This can cause flooding, erosion, and infrastructure damage if not managed properly. With the correct stormwater facilities in place, runoff can be contained and controlled, preventing destructive floods and slowing soil erosion in the process.
Stop storm and sanitary sewer system overflow: Several types of stormwater facilities are designed to hold excess rainwater, but careful capacity calculations are needed to avoid overflow. The same goes for sanitary sewer systems. Stormwater runoff doesn’t pass through a treatment plant on its way to area waterways, but the sewer system itself could overflow if the proper stormwater management systems aren’t implemented and maintained correctly.
Meet federal environmental regulations: Increasingly stringent federal regulations for water quality require local communities to buckle down on stormwater monitoring and control. If for no other reason, businesses should make stormwater management a priority to avoid fines and penalties.
Choose iSTORMWATER for Stormwater Management Services
If you are a private-sector business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep the stormwater facilities on your property in good working order, no matter what form they take. At iSTORMWATER, we are proud to provide industry-leading stormwater management services to business owners across the DC metro area. We have over 20 years of experience aiding our clients with stormwater management, which includes assisting with facility design and implementation, performing inspections and maintenance, and resolving compliance issues. Count on us for help formulating a stormwater management services plan that suits your unique needs and budget.
To learn more about stormwater management, or to schedule services, please call iSTORMWATER at (443) 699-2828 or contact us online today.
Guaranteed Quality Service!
"Incredible stormwater management service. The owner John consulted on a property I manage and ended up saving us thousands of dollars in environmental fees from the government. Now, our property is compliant with the EPA and we have a great partner to keep us maintained on storm water regulations over time."