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What is a stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snow-melt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground.
What is a stormwater runoff problem?
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 water-bodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water.
Effects of Pollution
- Sediment can cloud the water and make it difficult or impossible for aquatic plants to grow.
- Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms. When algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a process that removes oxygen from the water.
- Bacteria and other pathogens can wash into swimming areas and create health hazards, often making beach closures necessary.
- Debris -plastic bags, six pack rings, bottles, and cigarette butts- washed into water bodies can choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life like ducks, fish, turtles, and birds.
- Household hazards wastes like insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil, and other auto fluids can poison aquatic life.
- Polluted stormwater often affects drinking water sources. This, in turn, can affect human health and increase drinking water treatment costs.
For more information regarding stormwater, please check out the following websites: