Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles devoted to raising awareness of the dangers of stormwater run-off.
Residents of University Place know that one of our greatest assets is our stunning Puget Sound waterfront. We enjoy a view of the water and mountains that is the envy of many other Pierce County communities.
But with our prized views comes great responsibility to protect the waters of Puget Sound from contaminants. Stormwater run-off is the largest source of pollution in Puget Sound, but we can—and must—do our part to limit its impact.
As anyone living in the Pacific Northwest knows, it tends to rain a lot around here. All that rainwater eventually finds its way into our storm drains. This has become even more pronounced as new developments replace porous earth that absorbs moisture with non-porous pavement that leads to water run-off.
Heavy rain poses a particular danger since it can overload local sewage treatment systems with untreated stormwater run-off. This means pollutants such as chemicals from fertilizers, vehicle oil and animal waste bacteria may be released into our local waters.
This can threaten the quality of our drinking water. It can harm local wildlife and sea life, and impact water recreation, such as swimming, shell fishing and beach combing.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing tips and ideas for limiting your home’s impact on our stormwater system. In most cases, a few preventative measures can have a significant impact on our Puget Sound waters and all the pleasures we derive from living on its shores. Stay tuned.