Stormwater Runoff Threatens the Merrimack River

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Southern New Hampshire University
Stormwater runoff and its effects on water quality can negatively impact the environment. For example, combined sewer overflow, also known as CSO, is a major source of contaminants. The sewer systems collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial waste. However, when wastewater treatments become overwhelmed and can not be treated as needed, the untreated polluted water is pushed into waterways. Green infrastructure is a low-cost, adaptable method that helps prevent flooding and erosion. Trees, green roofs, and rain gardens help absorb excess rainfall before it hits the ground and runs down sidewalks, picking up pollutants. Several techniques are described in the literature to measure the reduction of stormwater runoff. This work investigates a new stormwater drainage technique called Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) to help contain the water flow. Other methods include water diversion, sewage interception, and sediment dredging. A series of studies addresses point sources that lead to water pollution, like combined sewer flow (CSO), infrastructure debris, motor oil, and more. By identifying these sources here in New Hampshire, a new approach can be drawn up to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff without influencing the water quality and environment of the New Hampshire wildlife.