Our towns and cities are growing and one of the flow on effects from that is that our day-to-day living is having greater effects on the environment we live in. Stormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas.
When rain falls on our roofs, streets, and car parks the water cannot soak into the ground as it should. Instead, stormwater is directed to drain through gutters, stormwater pipes, and other engineered collection systems, eventually being discharged into nearby water bodies.
The stormwater runoff carries rubbish, bacteria, heavy metals, and other pollutants from the urban landscape to those water bodies. Higher flows resulting from heavy rains can also cause erosion and flooding in urban streams, damaging habitat, property, and infrastructure (which can be expensive and disruptive).
On the flipside, when rain falls in natural, undeveloped areas, the water is absorbed and filtered by soil and plants. Stormwater runoff is cleaner and less of a problem in those environments. Experts all over the world have realised that there are better, more efficient and more natural ways of treating our stormwater. In New Zealand, this is generally referred to as ‘Low Impact Design’ or ‘Low Impact Development’.
Learn more about Low Impact Design and how you can use such methods on your own property by clicking on the links below.