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Vermont Water Issues; Stormwater Runoff

Page history last edited by dmjepson 8 years, 6 months ago

In many New England towns there is an increase in impervious surfaces, and decline of buffer zones. This coupled along with rapid seasonal melting and recent flooding events creates an issue of  how to properly manage storm-water. Due to a lack of buffers, chemical compounds that land on frozen ground (either on ice/snow or impervious surfaces) are immediately new sources of contamination, due to the inability for the compound to have organic materials and processes to break it down, as it now ends up mixed within the ice/snow and will be trapped until the next increase in temperature (melting). Since something of a high concentration tends to flow towards a lower concentration/elevation; rivers, lakes and other forms of waterbodies typically lie in a low point of the land, which means that if a spill were to occur it will most likely continue to travel until it reaches a low place which tends to greatly affect watersheds due to contaminants accumulating and eventually building up to toxic concentrations.

The issue that Vermont needs to address is that with the increase of human impact we face today between air quality affecting water quality and direct toxic spills that occur, it seems as if areas with higher concentrations of people (which also directly increases the amount of impervious surfaces due to roads, parking areas and infrastructures) have are called 'stormwater impaired watersheds.'

http://www.vtwaterquality.org/stormwater/htm/sw_impairedwaters.htm

 

Another issue is the amount of road salt that is affecting areas near water (since 'bridges freeze first' salt has to be added in order to allow the roads to be safe) and how this issue affects water quality.

 

As with all agricultural and live stock farms and companies, fertilizers (synthesized and natural) enter the system, but can also not absorb into the ground properly and directly end up in runoff waters which can/do increase rates of eutrophication in water-bodies.

 

Here is a link to some of the listed contaminates

http://www.vtwaterquality.org/mapp/docs/mp_2008.303d_Final.pdf

 

 

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