Tacoma’s Dogged Data Collection Combats Stormwater Pollution
While 40 years ago industrial pipes contributed 85 percent of water pollution, now 85 percent comes from storm water and the runoff from farmers’ fields. These flows end in bodies of water like the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound.
As localities all over the country try to deal with this largely ignored element of environmental protection, Tacoma’s approach, a combination of science and sheer doggedness, is being studied by officials from as far away as Brazil, Thailand, Italy and Russia.
The critical tool for the city is data — a detailed, continuing and chemically specific picture of what is in seven outlets that flow into the Foss Waterway and then into the Puget Sound, as well as what is in nearly 30 sediment traps that hold storm water from various parts of the city.
Read more in the New York Times