Stormwater is the water that flows over the ground after rain and snowmelt events. It runs off buildings, streets, sidewalks and parking lots – anywhere it is prevented from naturally soaking into the ground. Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals and dirt before it reaches its final destination.
If not managed properly, stormwater can contaminate streams, rivers, and lakes. It can destroy aquatic habitats and kill aquatic plants, fish, and animals. Polluted stormwater can also contaminate our drinking water supply.
See below for some things you can you do to prevent contamination:
- Limit pesticide and fertilizer use.
- Dispose of insecticides, pesticides, paints, used motor oil, and other chemicals properly. Do not pour them, or any other household products, into storm drains or onto the ground.
- Clean up litter and debris on sidewalks, driveways and parking lots – especially around storm drains. Do not put anything into storm drains.
- Pick up and dispose of your pet’s waste.
- Do not overwater your lawn.
- Use a rain barrel or plant a rain garden.
- Go to a car wash that recycles its water or wash your car on your lawn so that the water infiltrates into the ground.