Parking Lot Redesign Solutions

Parking Lot Redesign Solutions

We all live in a watershed. The Pleasant Hills Middle School is in the Lick Run watershed, which is part of the Peters Creek watershed, which is part of the Monongahela River watershed, which is part of the Ohio River watershed, which is part of the Mississippi River watershed. Some rainwater that falls on the grounds of PHMS eventually finds its way to the Gulf of Mexico along with any minerals, herbicides, pesticides, etc. that are picked up along the way.

We all contribute to pollution of the streams of the watershed in a number of ways.
  • Stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces, including roofs, driveways, roads and parking lots, enters storm sewers or combined sewers and when added with our neighbors, causes excessive water to enter streams. This erodes stream banks more quickly than they normally would.

  • Excess fertilizer and pesticide from our lawns enters the streams of the watershed and causes algal blooms and excessive plant growth. This causes problems for many of the less pollution tolerant stream organisms leading to a decrease in diversity of the stream.

  • Wastewater from our homes, schools and businesses travels to sewage plants or to individual on-lot septic systems. The sewage plants remove solid waste from the sewage coming to the plant and are required to meet certain permitted levels in the effluent that leaves the plant and enters streams of the watershed. But there are many chemicals that are not removed. Many people throw old drugs, paint thinner, oil, old pesticides, and a host of other chemicals down the drain. Many of these chemicals end up in our streams and also into our drinking water since most of us receive our drinking water from water filtrations plants on the Mon River.

  • Much of our garbage finds its way to the garbage dump where rainwater leaches chemicals from the garbage. Some of this leachate can eventually find its way to either groundwater or directly to streams.

There are many other ways in which we all contribute to the pollution of our streams without even realizing it. Most of these are very small contributions, like leaving the water running while brushing your teeth, but when you combine them with the contributions from everyone in the Peters Creek watershed it can have a large effect on water quality. In fact, the EPA asserts that non-point source pollution is the leading cause of water quality degradation in the United States.

The first step in finding a solution to NPS is to make sure that everyone realizes that the problem exists and that we all contribute.

The second step is to find ways to change our daily habits in order to decrease our contribution to the problem.

Who needs to do this. Individuals, businesses, our local municipalities, counties , state and federal government. Everyone has a role to play.

SOLUTIONS - What can you do?

SOLUTIONS - What can municipalities do?

SOLUTIONS - Parking Lot Redsign?