After rainfall events, stormwater runoff picks up and delivers oils, greases, sand, road salt and litter from our city streets, parking lots and rural roads into our rivers and lakes. Excess nutrients, bacteria and chemicals can degrade wildlife habitat and water quality, sometimes to the point of being a human safety concern. By improving the way we collectively manage urban stormwater runoff and the riparian buffer zones along lakes and streams we can do a lot to project the quality of our water resources.
Stormwater Flows Into Our Waters
Rain falling in a forest soaks into the spongy soil, where it is either taken up by vegetation or allowed to filter slowly through the soil and replenish groundwater resources. But in developed areas stormwater is forced to flow over roads, parking lots and rooftops. Along the way it warms significantly and picks up sediment, chemicals, oils and greases and debris before entering concrete storm sewers that deliver this polluted water right into our streams. However, that does not need to be the case. Huron Pines has worked with communities like Grayling, Rose City and West Branch to plant rain gardens and retrofit storm sewer systems with mechanical oil and grit separators that have reduced stormwater pollution to our rivers and to the Great Lakes!