Handling Stormwater Runoff
The major source of pollution in Ozark streams is dirt. Yes, dirt. Too much dirt (sediment) covers the bottom of the streams and kills the small organisms that are the bottom of the food chain for everything else, including trout. This happens during storms when large amounts of water fall in a short period of time. Inappropriate development which clears steep areas can cause major damage and is very expensive to stop. Plus, runoff carries other pollutants like oil from cars, chemicals, fertilizer, waste, etc.
Years ago the idea was to move water off of property as quickly as possible with drainage ditches and storm drains. In urban areas, storm water systems often intermingle with sewer systems and can overload the systems, resulting in improperly treated sewage going into our rivers. Now, the idea is to keep the water on our property in a way that can be absorbed… and cleaned… by soil. Low impact development is a popular idea that shows how development and clean water can both happen. For individual homes, rain gardens and rain barrels can help as well.