effects of stormwater pollution after a flood

Understanding the Impact of Stormwater Pollution from Floods

The Hidden Dangers of Stormwater Pollution after a Flood

Floods can wreak havoc on communities and nature, leaving behind a trail of devastation. But there’s another danger that often goes unnoticed: stormwater pollution. When floodwaters recede, they carry harmful contaminants, debris, and pollutants, posing significant risks to the environment, public health, and wildlife.

Contaminating Our Water Bodies

One of the most severe consequences of stormwater pollution is the contamination of our precious water bodies. As floodwaters rush through urban areas, they pick up oil, chemicals, heavy metals, fertilizers, and even sewage. Once these pollutants enter rivers, lakes, and streams, they disrupt delicate ecosystems, harm aquatic life, trigger harmful algae blooms, and contaminate drinking water sources.

Health Risks for People

Stormwater pollution also poses serious health risks to humans, both during and after a flood. Exposure to contaminated floodwaters can lead to waterborne diseases like gastrointestinal illnesses, skin infections, and respiratory problems. Moreover, the presence of harmful chemicals and toxins in the floodwaters can have long-term health consequences, including an increased risk of cancer and chronic illnesses, for those who come into contact with them.

Impacts on Wildlife

Wildlife populations are particularly vulnerable to the effects of stormwater pollution. Pollutants can cause reduced oxygen levels, habitat degradation, and direct exposure to toxins. When contaminated water bodies are used for irrigation or as drinking sources by wildlife, the consequences can ripple through the entire food chain, affecting larger predators and even endangering species already at risk.

Damage to Infrastructure

Apart from its environmental and health consequences, stormwater pollution can wreak havoc on our infrastructure. The accumulation of debris, sediment, and pollutants in stormwater drains and sewer systems can cause clogging, blockages, and compromised functionality. This can result in additional flooding, further damage to roads, bridges, and buildings, and increased costs for repairs and maintenance.

The Economic Burden

Communities and municipalities face significant costs for post-flood cleanup efforts, including the removal of debris and pollutants. Moreover, the decline in water quality affects industries such as fishing, tourism, and agriculture, leading to economic losses and reduced livelihood opportunities. Additionally, the burden of healthcare costs for individuals affected by contaminated floodwaters adds to the overall economic impact.

How We Can Make a Difference

At HalenHardy®, we provide solutions to help prevent stormwater pollution:

Sediment Control

Our Spilltration® Oil & Sediment Filter Dikes, Socks, Rolls, and Drain Filters are designed to effectively capture and contain sediment carried by stormwater runoff. By strategically placing these products in areas prone to erosion or runoff, they prevent sediment from being washed into water bodies, reducing water pollution and preserving water quality.

prevent stormwater pollution after flooding

Spilltration® HuskyGuard Drain Filter, shown with Spilltration® Husky DamSock™ capture and contain sediment from stormwater runoff.

prevent stormwater pollution from flooding

Spilltration® Husky Filter Dikes and Spilltration® Husky Rolls capture TSS & FOG below an outfall.

Oil and Sheen Removal

Spilltration® Products, including oil-absorbent materials and sorbent booms, are highly effective in preventing oil and hydrocarbons from contaminating water during floods. These products absorb and contain oil spills and sheens, preventing them from spreading and reducing the risk of oil reaching nearby water bodies.

capture oil and sediment from flooding

Spilltration® Husky Rolls and Spilltration® Husky Filter Dikes & Socks absorb and contain oil and sheens, reducing the risk of water contamination during floods.

Debris Containment

Floodwaters often carry a significant amount of debris, including trash, vegetation, and other solid waste. Our Spilltration® products, such as HuskyGuard Drain Filters, effectively capture and retain debris, preventing it from entering stormwater drains and water bodies. By minimizing the amount of debris in stormwater runoff, these products help prevent blockages, reduce the risk of flooding, and protect water quality.

huskyguard drain filters capture sediment during flooding

HuskyGuard Drain Insert captures and contains sediment and debris in stormwater runoff..

Supporting Green Infrastructure

Our Spilltration® products can be used in conjunction with green infrastructure practices, such as rain gardens and bioretention systems. These systems naturally filter stormwater runoff by allowing it to infiltrate the soil.

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Spilltration® Products align with best management practices for stormwater management and pollution prevention. By implementing these products as part of comprehensive stormwater management plans, effective measures can be put in place to minimize the impact of stormwater runoff during floods. Integrating these products into BMPs, such as erosion and sediment control plans, helps municipalities and communities effectively reduce stormwater pollution and protect water resources.

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