Stormwater runoff is a major source of pollution. Rainwater running off streets, parking lots and lawns picks up pet waste, fertilizer, oil, pesticides and other contaminants. Traditional stormwater ponds allow this polluted water to immediately flow into streams and rivers. The contaminants remain suspended in the fast-moving runoff and violent drainage after heavy storms causes erosion, destabilizes stream banks, smothers aquatic homes and blocks sunlight from marine plants and animals.
To mitigate these impacts, jurisdictions seek ways to slow down and soak up the runoff. This can include building rain gardens in key drainage areas, replacing traditional paved surfaces with pervious pavement and planting rooftop gardens. These ideas are helpful but improving the performance of stormwater ponds can deliver a much greater impact on water quality. Since it is just as easy to retrofit an existing pond with SmartSWM as it is to include it in new construction, there is the potential to add a “green filter” to nearly every stormwater pond operating today.
The SmartSWM system is a game-changing “Low Impact Development” solution that leading environmental groups are endorsing and even finding creative ways to help finance. It is also seen as an effective “climate resiliency” tool, since the operation of a pond equipped with the SmartSWM system can be adjusted as storms become more frequent and intense.