Rain may not seem like a likely culprit for many of Puget Sound’s pollution woes. But on its journey from sky to stream it picks up a host of toxics from our roofs, roadways, and yards. The end result is a toxic cocktail that spills into our waterways.
This report catalogs the challenges polluted stormwater poses for the Puget Sound region. The average-sized house sheds ten bathtubs full of water during a good sized drenching–meaning 26,600 gallons of toxic runoff gush into gutters and streams from one home each year.
How has the region’s iconic rain been transformed into such a menace? A century of building pipes, gutters, and impervious surfaces is to blame. Fortunately, there’s a solution: Low-Impact Development. It’s an affordable fix that curbs the environmental damage while making our neighborhoods and communities more walkable, sustainable, and inviting.
Included in the report:
- How does stormwater get polluted, and why is it such a problem?
- What is Low Impact Development and how can it help?
- Examples of local LID projects that are planned or underway.
- Tips for Talking About Polluted Stormwater (video)
- “Curbing Stormwater Pollution” in Trim Tab magazine.
- Industrial-Strength Stormwater Fix (PDF)
- Stormwater blog series
- Curbing Polluted Stormwater and Creating Communities (PDF) for the Northwest region
Storm drain photo courtesy of Morguefile.
Published: March 11, 2011