Water Pollution and Spring Runoff

Water pollution is a scary word. All it tells us is that there is something in the water that’s not naturally there. The problem is that the word “pollution” is general and doesn’t tell you anything specific about what’s in the water or how it got there. Water pollution is easier to understand and prevent when we break it down into types.

There are two overall types of pollution: point source pollution and non-point source pollution. Point source pollution comes from a distinct source such as a discharge pipe. Non-point source pollution comes from diffuse sources including runoff and atmospheric deposition. [Read more…]

Heavy rains fuel urban runoff

We finally received the rain we needed this week.  While this rain was good for our lawns and gardens, the excess water needs to run somewhere and that somewhere is usually our lakes and streams. Before I proceed, I need to define a term: impervious surface. Impervious surface is any surface on land that is impenetrable to water and prevents its absorption into the ground. Examples include rooftops, sidewalks, parking lots, and roads. The more impervious surface in a concentrated area, the less surface there is for rain to be absorbed into the ground. When rain is absorbed into the soil, it percolates through the ground getting filtered along the way and usually ends up in the groundwater. When rain is not able to be absorbed into the ground, it ends up in basements, collects in low areas, runs directly into lakes and streams from adjacent yards and flows into storm sewers. [Read more…]