NMR Stormwater Management: Facing our Runoff Problem
What is Stormwater Runoff?
Stormwater runoff is the water that flows over hard surfaces, such as roads and roofs, during a rain event. In urban areas like Pittsburgh, these surfaces are often made up of impervious materials, like pavement and asphalt, and don’t allow water to soak into the ground.
As the water falls from the sky and makes its way to the storm sewer system, it collects a great deal of pollutants and litter. Unfortunately, this polluted runoff does not get treated after it flows into storm drains; it simply winds up in streams, rivers, and lakes.
Stormwater Runoff and Nine Mile Run
Every time it rains in the Nine Mile Run Watershed, thousands of gallons of stormwater run into storm pipes and flow directly into Nine Mile Run. This untreated, fast moving water causes erosion, habitat pollution, and other negative effects in the Nine Mile Run stream.
In 2006, the Army Corps of Engineers completed an aquatic ecosystem improvement project in Nine Mile Run to help mitigate the impacts of stormwater damage. While this restoration brought great improvements to the structure and habitat of Nine Mile Run, the continued barrage of stormwater events continues to degrade water quality, and has damaged parts of the restoration work, despite remediation efforts by NMRWA, volunteers, and watershed municipalities.
In order to more effectively combat these issues going forward, we have joined with local municipalities and partner organizations to form the Nine Mile Run Stormwater Partnership.
One of the local FIRST® Lego League Robotics teams, Master Minds #23836, which is made up of kids ages 9-13, created this original video as a part of a water research project. They identified storm water run-off as a big problem in areas where natural landscapes have been replaced with impenetrable, gray surfaces. They also discovered that people are not very aware of stormwater management solutions that already exist. This kid-friendly video was designed to inform and educate the public in a fun and engaging way.