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Pollutants can come from atmospheric fallout, accidental spills, leakages, materials handling practices, or the application of chemicals (including fertilisers) or wastes to land. Stormwater runoff can contain a variety of contaminants. When contaminated stormwater runoff enters local waterways, it can cause a variety of problems including:
  • Algae blooms caused by high levels of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from detergents, fertilizers, animal feces, etc.
  • Build up of sediment can smother aquatic life, change the colour, odour, clarity and depth of water.
  • Metals from chemical leaks, dumping, vehicle fluids and debris can remain in sediment and build up in the food chain.
  • Litter can choke waterways, smother plants and be hazardous to wildlife.

Possible Sources

  • SEDIMENT
    • Sanding of roads in icy conditions
    • New construction
    • Non-paved lanes
    • Loose soil or gravel
  • BACTERIA
    • Fecal Coliforms - Feces, decomposing organic debris
    • Enterococcus faecalis - Feces, decomposing organic debris
  • METALS
    • Arsenic – Brake lining, fluids and exhaust from motor vehicles
    • Silver – Fungicides
    • Mercury – Detergents, bleaches, mercury vapour and fluorescent lamps
    • Lead – Paints, scrap metal, fluids and debris from motor vehicles
    • Nickel – Debris from asphalt pavement repairs, fluids and debris from motor vehicles
    • Chromium – Detergents, wood preservatives, air-conditioning coolants, debris from motor vehicles
    • Cadmium – Insecticides, paint, fluids, debris and exhaust from motor vehicles
    • Zinc – Insecticides, asphalt pavement, road paint, corrosion of galvanized roofs and gutters, fluids, debris and exhaust from motor vehicles
    • Copper- Pesticides, wood preservatives, asphalt shingles, debris from motor vehicles, natural sources
    • Manganese – Additives and coatings for reducing friction in moving engine parts, natural sources in form of oxides, silicates and carbonates
  • NUTRIENTS
    • Nitrogen - Grass clippings, fertilizers, feces, atmospheric, vehicle exhaust
    • Phosphorus – Decomposing organic debris, fertilizers, feces
  • MISCELLANEOUS
    • Salt - De-icing of roadways during winter
    • Sulfur – Cleaning products, insecticides, fertilizers, combustion of fossil fuels, natural sources
    • Hydrocarbons – Operation of motor vehicles, fuel and oil leaks, accidental spills
    • Solids – Litter, vegetation, plastic bags, debris
Last updated: 2/28/2017 4:09:56 PM