Effectively managing stormwater is important to all of us. Poorly managed stormwater run-off causes flash floods and it accumulates in low-lying areas (like your basement).
Roofs, driveways, sidewalks, roads-- housing developments are full of surfaces that do not absorb water. Poor construction practices can greatly increase the amount of sediment in run-off. This is important, since sedimentation is a major problem in Tuttle Creek, Milford, Perry and Clinton flood control reservoirs on the Kansas River system.
Stormwater washes fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, and animal waste off lawns and farmland. It carries pollutants into lakes and rivers used for drinking water supplies. These increase nutrients in reservoirs, leading to algal blooms and "skunky" tasting water. Some severe algal blooms can become toxic.
In contrast, the plants and soils of a natural prairie absorb much (if not all) of the rain during a Kansas thunderstorm. And stormwater that is absorbed by soil and plants is actually cleaned of nutrients and many other pollutants. This is why planting buffer strips and rain gardens not only REDUCES THE AMOUNT of stormwater run-off, it IMPROVES THE QUALITY of stormwater run-off that flows off the land and into the river.
What's in the Water? >