Mitigating the impacts of flooding with a preventative stormwater maintenance planBaltimore is known to have a moderate risk of flooding after a...Mitigating the impacts of flooding with a preventative stormwater maintenance plan
Baltimore is known to have a moderate risk of flooding after a storm, highlighting the importance of proper stormwater management within and around the city. According to Flood Factor, more than 10,263 properties within Baltimore have more than a 26% chance of being impacted by flooding. This includes damages to property, an increase in polluted runoff and erosion that can destabilize the surrounding area. A stormwater system that has been improperly maintained or requires repairs to restore proper function puts property owners at an even greater risk of flooding and increases the chance of irreparable property damage.
A stormwater system is designed and functions to remove water from impervious surfaces, releasing it downstream and preventing water from stagnating. Common stormwater system failures that include cracked piping or clogged catch basins can impede the system’s ability to properly drain and filter stormwater runoff. When these system failures are not addressed, the severity of flooding rises due to a larger volume of stagnant water, and pollutants or debris can be deposited into the nearby watersheds. If left unaddressed, the surrounding landscape and infrastructure can be irreparably damaged and degraded, as water can flow into crevasses within buildings and low-lying areas.
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Stormwater runoff that contains pollutants also threatens the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem and nearby individuals. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, pollutants containing nitrogen and phosphorus from nearby water treatment plants, industrial or agricultural facilities, and surrounding cities and suburbs put the estuary at risk. In addition, trash, sediment, waste and pesticides from stormwater runoff can alter the Chesapeake Bay’s quality of the water, as runoff can contaminate waterways and expose people and aquatic life to dangerous bacteria and chemicals.
Sinkholes are also a severe consequence, which is exacerbated by flooding. Sinkholes are dangerous depressions that can form due to structural defects, rotting or decayed organic material, or natural voids in the landscape. Sinkholes pose a critical safety risk to those in the vicinity, as they can cause bodily harm and the collapse of nearby infrastructure. Sinkholes are a grave safety threat that need to be swiftly addressed, as the damages and losses caused can be irreparable.
Creating and enacting a preventative stormwater maintenance plan can safeguard residents, passersby and property from the dangerous impacts of flooding. With the Baltimore area more prone to rain events that cause heavy flooding, property owners are encouraged to proactively inspect and ensure proper functionality and accessibility for their systems. A preventative maintenance plan is tailored to the needs of a property owner’s stormwater control measures and enacted collaboratively with certified stormwater professionals to mitigate critical system repairs, extend the life of the stormwater system, maintain regulatory compliance and safeguard property owners from damages and safety hazards.