The Effects of Stormwater on the Surroundings

A road closed sign partially covered in flood

Watching rain or snowfall can be pleasant and calming. After falling from the sky, the water will then be absorbed into the soil. However, that isn’t the case for urban environments, such as Utah. The resulting runoff, also called stormwater, can’t be absorbed in the concrete.

Without proper stormwater management in Utah or other areas, it will continue to flow until it finds soil or a body of water. Unfortunately, it picks up various dirt and debris along the way. The area it arrives in ends up more likely contaminated. If left unchecked, stormwater can cause a lot of damage. These are the possible effects that it can cause to its surroundings.

Property Damage

If stormwater gets into homes, it can flood basements. Besides dirty water, it can also bring in the garbage and other debris. That can make the basement even harder to clean. Stormwater can also damage your home foundations and cause leaky roofs. Cracks will appear on your windows and doors due to water damage.

It can also weaken utility posts, which is dangerous. If you own a private well, it can be contaminated due to the bacteria in stormwater. Also, septic systems can be damaged due to flooding.

Damage to Aquatic Life

If stormwater passes through farms, the runoff carries a lot of bacteria and nutrients. When it flows into a body of water, these nutrients are consumed by invasive species in the ecosystem. These species then produce more carbon dioxide in the water.

The bodies of water affected by stormwater slowly begin to turn green and swampy. It turns into a home for too many plants and will drive native species out. Besides causing fishes to migrate, it can also cause extinction for some species.

Public Health Hazard

Stormwater can also flow into our sewage systems, which go out to rivers or lakes. If these systems were flooded with an increased amount of water, it could cause sewage overflow. That means raw sewage flows directly into the body of water and contaminates it. People who swim in affected bodies of water can get sick.

Sewage overflow can also affect water sources. People use some bodies of water for drinking. If ingested, contaminated water can cause gastroenteritis. Contaminated water also infects marine life. People who eat tainted seafood are also at risk.

Economic Detriment


If a body of water is contaminated by stormwater, it becomes useless. Swimming in it will be prohibited due to its health hazards. Trying to fish there will be fruitless, as there will be little to no fish left. Boating will be unappealing due to the sheer amount of plants.

Some cities have lakes or rivers as their source of income. If they are forced to close them down, that can damage their businesses significantly. Fisheries will have a reduced source of products, and tourist spots can close down.

Stormwater can inflict a lot of harm if left unchecked. It can greatly affect a city and its residents. That’s why it is important to utilize proper stormwater management to reduce possible damage. Investing in the right treatment can reduce the costs of property destruction and losses in the long run.

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