Water that comes from natural occurrences like rain or the melting of snow and ice is what is known as stormwater. Naturally, this water is supposed to be soaked into the ground or evaporate into the atmosphere. This happens fairly well in habitats that have enough soil plus plants to hold significant amounts of water. Not to mention that the plants slow down the running water giving it time to be absorbed underground.
This is, however, not the case when it comes to urban areas. With very few plants and the presence of concrete surfaces, very little water is allowed to get into the ground. This gives rise to an increased amount of surface runoff of stormwater. This is where stormwater management comes in. It aims at reducing rainwater runoff by channelling it. Stormwater management provides the following benefits.
Reduce the Risk of Flooding
Stormwater management is very useful when it comes to the prevention of an increased risk of floods occurring. Urban areas tend to have very minimal vegetation and soil. Hence, when they experience intense rainfall, the water is likely to stagnate at certain points causing floods. This is especially if there is no proper drainage. This would create an unfortunate situation as floodwater has several negative effects. For one, it could lead to the damage of property. People can also get harmed in the process either physically or get infected with diseases.
This is therefore an issue that needs to be eradicated. Stormwater management is a great way to do so. Proper techniques such as the placement of drainage systems will fasten the runoff of water to streams and prevent flooding.
Protect the Quality of Water
Stormwater management plays an important part in protecting the quality of water. There is a lot of dirt that tends to accumulate on surfaces in urban areas due to daily use. This includes all manner of dirt from dust to oil, metals, plastics, pesticides etc. This pollution is also highly contributed to by the presence of vehicles that leave emissions and spills behind.
When it rains, the water gets to run off on these surfaces. While at it, it carries what it finds on the surfaces, including the above contaminants. Hence, the pollutants will eventually find their way to water sources such as streams, oceans, lakes and groundwater. This poses a health hazard to the users of this water. This, however, can be prevented through stormwater management. Systems will be used to eradicates these contaminants before getting into the water sources to preserve water quality.
Prevent soil erosion
Another side effect of strormwater is soil erosion. This means that as the rainwater is running off, it carries along with it the soil from the ground causing it to get eroded. This is especially a grave issue in agricultural lands that are mainly constituted of soil. The owners depend on rich soil cover to plant their crops. It is therefore unfortunate for them when rainwater comes and erodes it. In addition to the topsoil, farmers also add manure to promote the growth of their plants. When soil erosion occurs, this is also carried away, reducing the productivity of the land. Effective Stormwater management is therefore crucial to curb the erosion of soil in such areas.