The importance of storm water
Whether your facility or residence is two blocks or twenty miles from the water, it has connections to local bodies of water. One such connection is storm drains. Every community is full of rooftops, paved driveways, streets, parking lots, and loading docks. These types of surfaces are known as “impervious,” meaning water (rain) cannot penetrate them. Runoff from these areas becomes storm water runoff, which enters storm drains and is carried through a conveyance system directly (without treatment) into local waters.
As storm water runoff travels, it picks up pollutants such as oil, grease, chemicals, dust from vehicle brakes, etc. Since runoff is not treated, anything it picks up along the way is deposited into local waters. According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, a one-acre parking lot produces 16 times more storm water runoff than a meadow of similar size. As little as 5 percent impervious surface can harm the animals and plants living in or along natural streams because the runoff moves faster, carries more sediment, and may cause flooding during heavy rain events.
Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield has taken a sustainable approach to storm water management by utilizing strategies to help minimize runoff and control the volume and frequency of storm water discharges. However, these efforts alone are not enough to sustain our aquatic resources. Everyone living and working on the Installation plays a role in preventing storm water pollution. By implementing some of the strategies listed below, each of us can help ensure the installation’s aquatic ecosystem will be here for future generations of Soldiers and their Families to enjoy. Remember, clean water isn’t just good business –it’s everybody’s business.
Here are some ways you can help prevent storm water pollution:
· Wash cars at an Installation wash rack for personal vehicles or off-post car wash.
· Use drip pans and funnels when changing ﬂuids. Do NOT dispose of these in the woods. Recycle used oil and ﬁlters at gas stations or autocraft shops on post.
· Clean oil, grease, or chemical spills immediately and do not rinse the spill area with water.
· Periodically inspect your car for leaks and promptly repair any you ﬁnd.
· Dry sweep garage ﬂoors and driveways instead of wet washing.
· Dispose of pet waste by ﬂushing, burying, or trashing.
· Promptly pick up yard waste and bag for proper disposal.
For more information on the installation storm water program, visit home.army.mil/stewart/index.php/about/Garrison/DPW/environmental/prevention-and-compliance/water.