Stormwater runoff is a major contributor to the pollution of Maryland's waterways. When rainwater hits a surface such as a road or parking lot it carries any trash, chemicals, and sediment along with it into the stormdrains. According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 17% of all phosphorus, 11% of all nitrogen, and 9% of all sediment loads into the Chesapeake Bay originate from stormwater runoff. The MVA is taking steps at its facilities to reduce pollution and clean up it's stormwater runoff.
What is MVA doing?
The MVA has taken several steps in order to meet the requirements of its MS4 Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems Permits. The permits cover the Glen Burnie (HQ) facility and several other MVA branches around the state. The following is a brief list of actions taken to clean up the MVA's stormwater runoff.
- An Illicit Discharge & Detection Elimination Plan (IDDE) has been created for the Glen Burnie facility to detect, address, and correct any discharges to the stormwater system that are not permitted by the state. In addition, the entire stormwater system has been mapped to aid in the IDDE program.
- Many of our branches and VEIP facilities have stormwater retention ponds, which aid in reducing the runoff into our waterways. Full inspections have been conducted at these facilities and repairs have been made, or are in the process of being made, to return these ponds to their original and/or proper working condition.
- Routine maintenance programs and schedules for the MVA stormwater facilities have been implemented.
- HVAC cleaning procedures have been updated to include more environmentally friendly products and all runoff is being diverted to the sanitary system.
- Stormwater lines have been flushed and cleaned to remove sediment and debris.
- All stormdrains at the Glen Burnie Branch have been marked as "No Dumping, Drains to Bay". The other branch's stormdrains are also scheduled to be stenciled.
- Stormwater sampling will occur annually to monitor pollutants and check for improved water quality.
- Installation of a wash rack at the Glen Burnie Branch to capture runoff from the cleaning of various equipment and vehicles.
There are many practices that the employees and patrons of the MVA can do to help improve the quality of stormwater runoff. These practices can be done at both work and your home. Several practices are listed below.What can I do while at MVA to prevent stormwater pollution?
What can I do while at MVA to prevent stormwater pollution?
- Throw any trash and recyclables in the proper containers. The MVA has several trashcans and recycle containers throughout its buildings.
- Report any spills or leaks found around the property to the Branch Manager. Oil and antifreeze leaks can be common due to the large amount of vehicles parked on the MVA lots.
What can I do at my home to prevent stormwater pollution?
- Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly.
- Clean up after your pet.
- Use a commercial carwash or wash your car on your lawn.
- Clean up your yard debris by sweeping as opposed to hosing down with water. Use the grass and plant trimmings as compost or take them to a recycling center.
- Always clean paintbrushes in a sink and not outdoors. Dispose of leftover paint by recycling or completely drying the contents before disposing.
- When changing oil or other auto fluids at your home take the used fluids to a location that recycles them. Click here for a directory of state run disposal locations that take used oil, batteries, and various household items and yard waste.
- Fix any leaks on your vehicle as soon as possible to avoid liquids dripping on to the pavement.
- Install a rain barrel, you can collect rainwater and use it later to water plants or use for other purposes. To learn more about rain barrels and other ways to reduce runoff click here.
Want to learn more about how stormwater can affect the bay and what you can do about it?
Visit your county’s website or click on one of the links below for more information...
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation – Maryland
- After the Storm – A Citizen's Guide to Understanding Stormwater
- The Solution to Stormwater Pollution!
MDE; Facts About Stormwater http://www.mde.state.md.us/assets/document/RAIN_BARREL%202005.pdf
MDE; Details on County Recycling Services http://www.mde.state.md.us/Programs/LandPrograms/Recycling/Local/countyservices.asp
U.S. EPA; “After the Storm” http://www.epa.gov/weatherchannel/stormwater.html