In cities, heavy rains wash away the gunk collecting on sidewalks and roads, picking up all kinds of debris. However, the amount of microplastic pollution swept away by this runoff is currently unknown. Now, researchers in ACS ES&T Water report that stormwater can be a large source of microplastics and rubber fragments to water bodies and, with a proof-of-concept experiment, show that a rain garden could keep these microscopic pieces out of a storm drain.
Mayor Jim Kenney kicked off a recent briefing on Philadelphia’s coronavirus response with an unusual request for residents: Be careful what you flush. Between mid-March, when the city’s stay-at-home order was issued, and the end of April, most of the 19 sewer and storm water pumping stations in Philadelphia had experienced clogs from face masks, gloves and wipes residents had pitched into the potty, Kenney said.