What is Stormwater and Why Is It an Issue?
Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that does not soak into the ground. It flows down slopes and roads, along ditches or from rooftops, over paved areas, across bare soil, and through sloped lawns and fields. As it flows, this runoff collects and transports pollutants such as soil, pet waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizer, oil and grease, yard waste, litter and other contaminants.
You don’t need a heavy rainstorm to send pollutants rushing toward streams, wetlands and lakes—your hose can supply enough water. Even if your house is not on the waterfront storm drains or storm sewers carry runoff from your neighborhood to the nearest stream, wetland or body of water. Contrary to popular belief, most street storm drains do not carry stormwater to sewage plants for treatment. Often they flow directly into the water you enjoy for swimming and fishing.