Stormwater pollution is a challenging water quality problem. Pollution can be caused by construction or industrial activities, but today these activities are stiffly regulated and monitored. The most common source of water pollution is stormwater runoff.
Stormwater runoff is the act of water running off of streets, parking lots, driveways, rooftops, and lawns. The water picks up fertilizers, dirt, pesticides, oil, grease, and any other pollutant it passes as it makes it way to our stormwater drains. The water then continues on to find its way into our streams and rivers carrying all of the pollutants it has encountered with it.
The greatest contributor to stormwater pollution is the daily activities of people. The best prevention is education: knowing what causes stormwater runoff pollution and making small changes to routine activities to prevent it.
There are a number of things that everyone can do:
Never put anything down a storm drain or into an open ditch. This includes vegetative yard debris
Use fertilizers and weed killers sparingly.
Never use non-soluble chemicals when rain is forecast
Avoid using pesticides
Wash vehicles on lawns instead of driveways or patronize a car wash where the runoff is contained
Check your vehicles for leaks; keep drives and walkways swept and clean
Pick up after your pet
Inspect your home and yard for pollutants; anything that is exposed to rain is a potential pollutant
Stormwater runoff pollution may be unintentional. If you notice a stormwater drainage ditch that is cloudy, discolored, or has a strong smell, report it to the city’s Department of Public Works Department.