Smarter Business: Greening Advisor

 

Minimizing urban runoff

As rain falls and washes over rooftops, streets, and parking lots, it collects dirt, trash, and other pollutants, and often carries them into nearby rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans. In many parts of the country, urban runoff is the single greatest source of water pollution. In addition to dirt and debris, urban runoff can include such toxic components as oil and heavy metals like lead and mercury, as well as other pollutants that might find their way onto roads and rooftops. These pollutants can have a negative effect on drinking water supplies, recreation, and wildlife. Consider taking steps to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from your property.

Tips to Reduce Urban Runoff

  • Sweep sidewalks and other impervious surfaces instead of washing with a hose.
  • Consider permeable surface alternatives to conventional asphalt and concrete.
  • Maximize other permeable surfaces and vegetated areas, such as rain gardens, lawns and landscaped areas.
  • Consider installing a "green roof" by planting vegetation on rooftops. Green roofs not only capture rainwater, but also offer increased thermal insulation and energy efficiency and even increased durability and lifespan compared to conventional roofs.

For more information on stormwater reduction, see the resources below.

Additional Resources

Greening Advisor

The Business Plan

The Opportunities

Quick Tip

Sweep sidewalks and other impervious surfaces instead of washing with a hose.

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As rain falls and washes over rooftops, streets, and parking lots, it collects dirt, trash, and other pollutants and often carries them into nearby rivers, lakes, and streams. Consider  taking steps to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from your property.
 

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