Why Is Stormwater Runoff a Problem?

RMC Water and Environment Wastewater pic
RMC Water and Environment Wastewater
Image: rmcwater.com

Environmental engineering firm RMC Water and Environment is committed to supporting communities and public agencies in California through the development of sustainable water projects. Among the issues that RMC Water and Environment aims to provide solutions for is the problem of pollution in stormwater runoff.

Stormwater runoff, also known as urban runoff, is the most significant contributor to the pollution of the ocean off the coast of Southern California. This pollution is caused by the debris collected by rainfall as it sweeps across surfaces like roads, parking lots, and buildings, and eventually deposits the waste into local water sources through storm drains. Along with trash, the water from wet weather picks up dangerous contaminants like bacteria, chemicals, pesticides, oil, and pet waste.

The effects of stormwater runoff includes the degradation of stream, river, and ocean health, which effects populations of native plants and aquatic animals. It also contaminates sources of human drinking water and poses a public health hazard in popular recreation areas, like beaches. A study by the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Project indicated that stormwater runoff can increase the likelihood of humans developing viral diseases, viral infections, fever, flu, and rashes.

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