Rain and snow are typically absorbed by the soil on which they fall. As the water infiltrates the soil a number of benefits occur. The infiltration process filters contaminants from the water, replenishes soil moisture and recharges ground water aquifers (an underground layer of rock, sand or gravel through which water can flow).
But what about snow and rain that fall on hard surfaces like paved streets, parking lots and roof tops? The water running off from these areas is called stormwater, and it is not absorbed by the soil. Instead, it generally flows into the nearest drainage system (storm sewers) and is directed into waterways.
When the volume of stormwater is too great for the storm sewers to accommodate, streets and other urban areas can quickly flood. Also, as stormwater washes through the streets it tends to pick up and transport whatever it encounters - spilled oil, detergents, solvents, salt, pet wastes and so forth. This contaminated stormwater is not treated before it reaches rivers and lakes. That is why it is so important not to dump contaminants into City storm drains.
Introduction of these contaminants to water bodies can lower water quality, cause an overabundance of algae, and reduce aquatic life.
Public Works and Utilities
955 Concordia Way
Kamloops BC V2C 6V3
ph 250-828 3461
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