Posts Tagged ‘Storm Water’

Get to Know the Raritan River

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Our current project here at IM Rivers, mapping stormwater outfall pipes on the Raritan River, is very important to us.  We are learning about this river everyday with the help of a local organization, the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative. Their website has a wealth of information about the Raritan River including  information about the basin, clean up efforts, sustainable Raritan River action agenda, news and events, pictures, along with a wealth of resources and data.  It is committed groups like these that will save our rivers for future use and recreation.  Check out their website and keep checking back for updates! Photo taken by Dr. Wansoo Im Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

The Importance of Managing Stormwater

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The Massachusetts River Alliance is supporting an EPA stormwater permit draft which will help improve health of Massachusetts waterways, through better treatment and management of stormwater.  Why stormwater? Stormwater is a huge source of pollution to our waterways; water that falls on impervious surfaces flows through our built environment (where it picks up pollution such as oil, fertilizers, dirt, pesticides, solid waste,and other pollutants), to storm drains, and out to rivers and lakes.   This Stormwater General Permit Draft will “regulate storm water discharges in small Massachusetts communities with separate storm sewer systems (known as “MS4s”)”.  Stormwater should be a major concern in improving the health of our streams, lakes, and rivers because:
“Although nonpoint source pollution (pollution from diffuse sources like run-off) has been recognized for decades as a major water quality problem, until recently our efforts have focused on point sources like sewage plant discharge pipes. However, nonpoint sources, generally from stormwater, produce as much as half the pollutants in our surface and ground water.” (Association of NJ Environmental Commissions)
Sources: Massachusetts River Alliance and ANJEC
Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

Monitoring and Mapping Storm Water Outfalls on the Raritan River

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Here at IM Rivers we have been working on a new project to protect our local river upon which Rutgers University was built; the Raritan River.  It is a heavily polluted river, but by taking initiative we hope to clean it up so everybody can enjoy its beauty.  After obtaining a GIS shapefile from the Middlesex County Planning Department of outfalls in the county, which I told was a complete database of all storm water outfalls, I noticed that the pipes that I see everyday as part of the Rutgers Crew team were not included in this database.  This motivated us to map them ourselves, which we have just begun.  In our Interactive Map, you can see both the outfalls in the Middlesex County database and the outfalls that we have begun to map on the Raritan River.  In a very short amount of time we were able to map over 25 outfalls which were not in the Planning Departments database!  A special thanks to Rutgers Crew Coach Jon Stephanik for his time and efforts helping us with this project.  Keep checking back to monitor our progress! Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern