What is storm water?
Storm water is generated by
runoff from land and impervious areas such as paved streets,
parking, and building rooftops immediately following
rainfall or as a result of snowmelt. These hardened surfaces
do not allow the rainfall to infiltrate into the soil
surface, so this rainfall becomes storm water runoff.
Why worry about it?
Storm water runoff can pick up pollutants such as oil
and grease, chemicals, nutrients, metals, and bacteria
as it travels across land.
Heavy precipitation or snowmelt can also cause sewer
overflows that may contaminate water sources with
untreated human and industrial waste, toxic materials,
and other debris.
Storm water runoff that enters a storm sewer system is
discharged UNTREATED into the water bodies we use for
swimming, fishing, and drinking water.
After a dry season, the first flush of storm water can
have the same pollutant load as raw sewage. Polluted
storm water often affects drinking water sources and can
affect human health and increase drinking water