Storm water runoff can be both a big problem and a big help depending on if it is managed correctly. Uncontrolled, runoff can have a major negative impact on the Florida environment by adding oil from roadways, excess fertilizers and pesticides directly in to our Bays, Canals, Rivers and Lakes. This causes algae blooms, contributes to toxic red tide, and can harm fish and wildlife. Florida's financial success is directly tied to maintaining a beautiful waterfront environment and clear tropical waters at our beaches.
Storm-water runoff can be a valuable resource as well. By adding a variety of technologies for storing and sometimes processing this water for later irrigation use during our long dry seasons. In addition to storing this water with equipment like cisterns and rain barrels, home owners and municipalities can use their landscaping techniques to both slow down rushing storm-water and remove many of the harmful nutrients in the water.
Homeowners can plant shrubs and other attractive landscape plantings that will stay low but act as a filter to reduce the pollutants going into the waterways. Cities can adopt this technique at a larger scale.
By managing the stormwater runoff at our homes, roads and cities we can make use of water for our dryer times and work to keep our waterways beautiful.