Letter: Reducing Storm Water Runoff

To the Editor:

In recent years Reston took an admirable effort to restore its streams. Highly effective in certain respects, the renewal allowed for improvement in important stream functions. The flood plane was evened out, a meadow ecosystem was created, the riffle-flow system slowed the streams flow rate, and the area was generally beautified.

However, as I have been further educated I find myself thinking that this was only a symptom that was treated. No matter the good done, it does not get to the root of the problem: runoff. Excess runoff caused by impermeable surfaces (roads, parking lots, buildings) is a fast flowing, direct-to-watershed flow of water.

There is no doubt in my mind that Reston is excellently planned to avoid impermeable surfaces. However, with the metro there is a lot of development both in the works and planned. This proliferation of impermeable surfaces can become a detriment, and even a danger to society. I think it should be high on Reston's to do list, both in government and as a community, to ensure that these buildings are built with sustainability in mind. This goes for energy, and water. Storm water runoff is one of the greatest contributors to pollution in local bodies of water. In the Chesapeake Bay it has contributed to the creation of massive dead zones, and the same could happen to Reston's beloved lakes.

So, Reston, let's throw some of our weight around. Let's beat the root of the problem before it becomes a problem. Reston could be a center of sustainable development in the D.C. metro area, starting with the proper measures to reduce storm water runoff.

Alexander Peters