As cities grow and climates change, precipitation increases, and with every great storm—from record-breaking Boston blizzards to floods in Houston—come buckets of stormwater and a deluge of problems. In Stormwater, William G. Wilson brings us the first expansive guide to stormwater science and management in urban environments, where rising runoff threatens both human and environmental health.
As Wilson shows, rivers of runoff flowing from manmade surfaces—such as roads, sidewalks, and industrial sites—carry a glut of sediments and pollutants. Unlike soil, pavement does not filter or biodegrade these contaminants. Oil, pesticides, road salts, metals, automobile chemicals, and bacteria all pour into stormwater systems. Often this runoff discharges directly into waterways, uncontrolled and untreated, damaging valuable ecosystems. Detailing the harm that can be caused by this urban runoff, Wilson also outlines methods of control, from restored watersheds to green roofs and rain gardens, and, in so doing, gives hope in the face of an omnipresent threat. Illustrated throughout, Stormwater will be an essential resource for urban planners and scientists, policy makers, citizen activists, and environmental educators in the stormy decades to come.