The term stormwater refers to rainwater. Stormwater discharges are generated by runoff from land and impervious areas during rainfall. Surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets, drain directly into lakes, rivers, and streams. Unlike wastewater, it is untreated and can carry pollutants, sediments, and trash directly into our natural water resources.
Why is Stormwater Quality Important?
As stormwater runoff travels over the land, it picks up all kinds of chemicals, waste, and trash that are not naturally found in our waterways. Stormwater runoff enters the storm drain system through inlets and discharges untreated into creeks, lakes, and rivers. Some chemicals and other substances in the stormwater can be toxic, even at small levels, endangering plants and animals that depend on the water to survive.
Cleaning up stormwater not only benefits our neighborhoods and town, but it also benefits the entire network of water bodies and land that make up our watershed.