Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, streets, and building rooftops prevent stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the ground. Stormwater runoff often contains pollutants in quantities that could adversely affect water quality.
Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system or directly to a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing and providing drinking water.
10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Stormwater Runoff Pollution
- Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks, and roads.
- Never dump anything down storm drains.
- Vegetate bare spots in your yard.
- Compost your yard waste.
- Avoid over application of pesticides and herbicides. Follow application directions carefully.
- Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces.
- Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in the driveway.
- Check your car for leaks, and recycle used motor oil.
- Pick up after your pet.
- Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly.