What is Storm Water Pollution?
Storm drains collect water outside of homes and businesses and channel the water directly to water ways such as local streams and rivers, untreated. More pollutants reach our waterways through the storm drains than through sewage treatment plants and industrial discharges combined.
What is Storm Water Runoff?
Storm water runoff is rain or snowmelt that flows over the ground. As it flows over driveways, streets, lawns, and sidewalks; it picks up debris, chemicals, and other pollutants. Storm water flows into drainage ditches or catch basins which are part of the municipal separate storm sewer system (or MS4’s) and is discharged untreated, into our waterways.
The Effects of Pollution
Water that we use for swimming, fishing, recreation, or for drinking can be harmed by polluted storm water runoff. High bacteria levels in lakes will result in swimming bans in contaminated areas. Hazardous wastes in lakes and streams will poison fish and humans. Trash washed into these lakes and streams can choke birds and small animals.