Meet Brendan Mulholland, the Environmental Water Quality Engineer in the Environment, Health, and Safety Division. His responsibilities include environmental compliance for surface water, stormwater, and wastewater. As we enter the winter rainy season, Mulholland answers three stormwater-related questions for Elements.
What is stormwater?
Any water that enters the Lab’s storm drain conveyance system. Typically it’s rain that hits the ground as runoff and is directed to storm drains, swales, or culverts. But it can also be rain that falls into an open waste bin or on unprotected soil or materials stockpile, where potentially it can pick up and mobilize stormwater pollutants. My main objective is “Only Rain in the Drain!”
Why the concerns relating to stormwater?
Stormwater pollution can lead to unsanitary living conditions and unhealthy lakes, creeks, rivers, oceans, and beaches, as well as street flooding during the rainy season. It’s created when trash, cigarette butts, animal waste, pesticides, motor oil, and other contaminants are washed or dumped into storm drains. This toxic soup mixes with millions of gallons of rainwater and pollutes our waterways and degrades our natural resources.
How can Lab employees help?
A good start is to increase our staff’s stormwater awareness. If you see an open trash or recycling bin, close the lid. If you observe what might be a potential stormwater pollutant, contact me at x5852 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The four tenets of the Lab’s stormwater program are “Eliminate, Enclose, Protect, and Educate.” With your help we’ll maintain our high level of compliance, stewardship, and accountability.
Go here to learn more about the Lab’s storm water controls.