WHAT IS STORMWATER RUNOFF?
Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snow melt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground.
WHY IS STORMWATER RUNOFF A PROBLEM?
Stormwater can pickup debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system, directly to a lake, stream, river, or wetland. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water.
The Effects of Pollution
Polluted storm water runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.
- Sediment can cloud water.
- Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms.
- Bacteria and other pathogens can wash into swimming areas.
- Debris - plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles, and cigarette butts - washed into waterways can choke, suffocate, or disable wildlife.
How You Can Help
Everyone can help make a difference. Here are some things that you can do to make an impact.
- Recycle motor oil. Maintain your car to prevent leaks.
- Wash your car at the car wash or on the lawn instead of the driveway.
- Do not use storm drains to dispose of liquid waste.
- During landscaping cover bare soil with mulch or hay and plant early.
- Place rocks or shrubs on slopes to slow water as it flows downhill.
- Minimize use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides & herbicides. Go organic.
- Carry a litter bag in your car to collect waste.
- Dispose of litter in proper containers.
- Inform authorities if you see a problem with waste.