STORM WATER RUN-OFF POLLUTING WATER WAYS: HOW NORTH COAST CITIES ARE PUTTING A STOP TO IT
EUREKA, CA- With the rainy season also comes storm water pollution. Three North Coast cities and over 10 organizations have come together today to talk about ways to protect our rivers and streams.
From gasoline to cigarette butts our roads are filled with pollutants. And when it rains those chemicals flow right into our waterways. Miles Slattery, the Public Works Director said, “a lot of our draining systems currently get pumped into streams or into rivers."
The solution? The North Coast Storm Water Coalition says ‘Low Impact Development’ is the answer. Slattery added, "The idea of low impact development is to infiltrate all of the run off onsite. Maintain all of the run-off on site and not discharge it into a stream."
Instead of rainwater flowing into a typical storm drain that leads straight to the bay, rain gardens are another option. Paul Keiran of the Regional Water Board said, "Rain gardens are primarily for single family homes, smaller developments… Instead of routing them through the street you route them through a gravel with a garden on top."
How it works, the run off from storm water will infiltrate through the rain garden and not discharge into the street. Slattery added, "It’s mostly important for the water quality aspect. It definitely treats the pollutants that are coming off of parking lots or from roofs."
But Keiran said rain gardens would only treat a one-inch storm. He added, "Bigger storms are going to by pass and go into the regular system."
But the benefits, these gardens decorate empty spaces and add vegetation to the area.
City officials tell us that new water regulations are in the works and that developers will eventually be forced to use low impact development.