What is stormwater?
Stormwater is rain water and melted snow that runs off streets, lawns, farms, and construction or industrial sites. Under natural conditions, stormwater is absorbed into the ground, where it is filtered and ultimately replenishes aquifers or slowly flows through forests into streams and rivers. However, in developed areas, impervious surfaces such as pavement and building roofs prevent precipitation from soaking into the ground. Instead, the water runs rapidly into storm drains, sewer systems, and drainage ditches. The rush of stormwater discharge can cause infrastructure damage, downstream flooding, and stream bank erosion. Also, the bacteria and other pollutants not filtered from stormwater can contaminate streams, rivers, and coastal waters.
Things you can do to prevent stormwater runoff pollution:
- Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways and sidewalks
- Never dump anything down storm drains or in streams
- Vegetate bare spots in the yard
- Compost your yard waste
- Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces; consider a rain garden
- Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in the driveway
- Check your car for various leaks; recycle motor oil
- Have your septic tank pumped regularly
- Clean up after your pet
It is ILLEGAL to dump grass clippings, pool water, used motor oil, or anything else down storm drains. They are intended for stormwater only and they drain into streams.