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Reducing the Negative Effects of Water Pollution

Awareness of the negative effects of water pollution can encourage businesses to implement best recycling and landscape design practices to ensure no further harm comes to the environment.

Health Risks of Pollution 

Storm water runoff is a major source of pollution in the United States. Due to an increase in urbanization, unsanitary materials such as gasoline, pet waste or fertilizers collect on pavement and concrete. When rains come, the water washes the bacteria into storm drains, which feed into nearby rivers and streams and soak through the earth into the groundwater supply – where drinking water originates.

Human exposure to polluted water containing bacteria, E. coli, pesticides or other harmful substances can lead to sickness. While young children and the elderly are the most susceptible to illness, anyone may contract nausea, vomiting, deadly gastrointestinal diseases or even cancer.

How Can Commercial Properties Limit Pollution?

Commercial buildings can construct a landscape design to limit storm water runoff. Planting trees on the property can assist in absorbing rain that would otherwise collect on the pavement. Whenever possible, native plants should be used in the landscaping, along with soil types allowing the most water absorption. Experts recommend steering clear of clay soil, the least absorbent. In addition, when laying pavement, businesses can investigate nontraditional options. Porous pavement is an excellent method of allowing the ground to naturally absorb moisture through a hard surface.

If an expansive paved area is not necessary for business operation, tearing up the space and replacing it with natural grass is ideal. Some properties have produced man-made ponds to hold runoff and allow pollutants to settle to the bottom of the body of water. Afterward, the water can be gradually released into the town’s storm drains, helping to ensure no backups or overflows occur.

Rain gardens are helpful in parking lots. The pavement is graded so water drains into the area and is soaked up by the plants, or evaporates throughout the course of the next 72 hours. Rain gardens are designed specifically to absorb water within that time frame, so no stagnant pools remain and become a mosquito and bacteria breeding ground.

For commercial properties with minimal space for natural landscaping, pond construction or rain gardens, a subsurface structure can be installed beneath the pavement. Storm drains will empty all runoff into the tank, and the pollutants are filtered out before the system releases the fluids into the sewer system.

In some jurisdictions, commercial properties can obtain water bill credits and rebates for storm water safety measures, especially if the business is located in a district where properties are charged for storm water runoff management.

Learn about the negative effects of water pollution along with potential solutions for your building from the experts at Innovative Water Treatment.

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