Stormwater is water that comes from the sky as rain or snow and flows over the surface of the ground or pavement and into a storm drain system. A storm drain system is made up of ditches, storm drains and gutters. The water that flows into the storm drain system is carried to local streams, rivers or lakes. Once stormwater enters the storm drain system it is NOT TREATED prior to reaching the local water way.
What is in our stormwater?
Things we use or do every day can cause stormwater to become polluted: throwing litter/trash on the ground; sweeping leaves or dirt into the storm drains; washing cars or changing the oil on the driveway and letting the soapy/oily water wash into the street; over use of pesticides and herbicides, leaving pet waste on the ground..
Everyone has a role. Construction sites without proper erosion controls can cause dirt to enter the drain system and clog the flow of water in addition to polluting it. Even farm land or ranches that don’t create barriers from the streams; recycle animal waste or over spray crops with fertilizers and pesticides can cause pollutants to run into the water ways