Since Cass County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state, it is essential that we all work together to ensure that this rapid growth doesn’t impair the quality and quantity of the waters of the South Grand River Watershed? Rapid growth means that more and more land will be converted to impervious surfaces such as rooftops, parking lots and streets. Impervious surface (unless compensated for by bioretention areas, adequate buffers along all waterways from the smallest drainage ditches to creeks and rivers, rain gardens, natural areas of native prairie grasses and flowers) will contribute ever-larger volumes of stormwater directly into our waterways.
Stormwater entering our creeks and rivers as a result of this runoff carries all the pollutants present on the surfaces it washes across and directly contributes to degraded water quality. This runoff, in addition to contributing to erosion and flooding, also changes the temperature and chemistry of the water in streams. These changes threaten the aquatic life that is essential for a healthy stream environment and quality water. With careful planning and requirements that must be adhered to within developments, this runoff can be slowed and allowed to infiltrate into the ground water, and many of the pollutants can be filtered out before they enter the waterways.
Land disturbance is another threat to our water quality as land is cleared for development. Once again, proper methods of preparing for the construction of a development can minimize the runoff of sediment into our waterways. Sediment is one of the greatest threats to water quality and it is essential that developers utilize recommended procedures to prevent sedimentation in our streams.
There are many sources available for information that will help all of us in our efforts to ensure the best possible protection for the limited resource of quality water that is vital for life —ours, our children’s and the generations to come. Join us in our efforts to ensure quality water for all our needs.
Check www.sgrwa.org for watershed information and details about future program.