Stormwater Education

What is Stormwater Runoff?

Stormwater runoff is the rain or melted snow that runs off streets, rooftops, parking lots, lawns and vacant lots. This runoff flows into storm drains that carry the water to our streams, lakes and rivers without any type of treatment. Stormwater does NOT go to treatment plants!

Stormwater runoff can contaminate our drinking water supplies, injure aquatic plants and animals, make waterways unsafe for swimming and fishing, and contaminate our coastal waters. It also has an economic impact by harming recreational commercial businesses that depend on good water quality.

Stormwater runoff is definitely a problem! As stormwater flows across paved surfaces and unpaved land, it picks up pollutants and carries them directly into our waterways. Some of these include:

bulletRoad salts and sand
bulletOil, grease, and toxic chemicals from motor vehicles
bulletFertilizers and pesticides used on lawns, gardens, roadways, etc.
bulletViruses and bacteria from pet waste and failing septic systems
bulletLitter and trash from motorists, pedestrians and businesses