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Introduction to STORMWATER

Polluted water coming from the land has a profound affect on the marine environment particularly in the coastal zone.

When it rains the run-off water picks up and transports all kinds of suspended matter and litter. The water becomes increasing polluted as it moves with increasing speed into receiving waters; creeks, rivers, lakes and sooner or later to the ocean.


As it hits the earth each raindrop creates a tiny explosion. Rain showers dislodge and sometimes dissolve pollutants that have collected on hard surfaces like roofs, roads and car parks.

Some of pollutants that come from people or business in cities and towns are:

- Garden fertilizer
- Carwash detergent
- Grass clippings

Poisons (toxicants)
- Paint and turpentine

Grass clippings block the drains
and add nutrients

Hydrocarbons (oil and petrol)
- Engine degreaser
- Two stroke oil

- Sand and gravel
- Plaster
- Cement

Stormwater drains provide ‘fast transit’ for runoff, often gathering so much pollution that nature can’t process it easily. It might be interesting to investigate some of the things that happen.

Runoff from building work
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