Stormwater vs. Wastewater: What’s the Difference?
Water is our most useful resource. We drink, bathe, swim, travel, and industrialize with the help of water. However, different types of water are determined by its source. Water has a variety of uses, but not if it is polluted. Therefore, several systems have been implemented to create a sustainable environment for all water resources across the United States.
The most common type of water is one that we produce every single day. Any water that flows through your house and becomes contaminated is considered wastewater. This includes water from your sink, shower, toilet, or washing machines. Wastewater is hazardous to the environment if not treated properly after use. Therefore, several precautions have been taken to ensure that all wastewater is safe before being released back into the environment.
Stormwater is a specific type of wastewater. Stormwater is any form of precipitation that isn’t soaked up into the ground. Flooding outbreaks cause stormwater runoff to flow into bodies of water, carrying unwanted pollutants with it. This is a huge problem because some chemicals are toxic to local wildlife that either live in or drink from the water of a polluted water source. Several steps have been taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to limit the amount of pollutants swept into rivers by means of stormwater runoff.
Two huge federal systems used to manage stormwater are the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). Both of these are permitting structures to limit the amount of pollutants in everyday water resources. The MS4 program includes six minimum control measures (MCMs) for every stormwater management program:
- Public education and outreach
- Public involvement and participation
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- Construction site runoff control
- Post-construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment
- Pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations and maintenance
CEDARVILLE Engineering Group, LLC (CEG) works with both stormwater and wastewater assets, including NPDES and MS4 permitting. Our environmental services team will guide your project with ease. Call us at 610-705-4500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information regarding stormwater and wastewater management.
By: J. Auerbach
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CEDARVILLE Engineering Group, LLC
159 E. High Street, Suite 500
Pottstown, PA 19464