What is stormwater?
Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground.
Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally
soaking into the ground.
Why is stormwater runoff a problem?
As stormwater flows along streets, it picks up trash, leaves, pet waste, car fuels, and other
pollutants like excess lawn fertilizers and pesticides. This adds up to a great deal of pollution
to our rivers. Did you know that a single quart of oil can contaminate up to two million gallons
of drinking water? This kind of pollution that can’t be traced to a single point is called non-point source pollution.
Non-point source pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems. The effects of non-point source pollutants on specific waters vary and may not always be fully assessed. However, we know that these pollutants have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries, and wildlife.
Do your part to help reduce non-point source pollution and keep our waterways clean for our children and future generations!
You can make a difference:
- Use lawn chemicals and pesticides sparingly.
- Recycle used motor oil and paint or dispose of it at a hazardous waste
collection site. For locations in your neighborhood, call 1-800-CLEANUP or
- Pick up pet waste; dispose of it in the trash.
- Compost or recycle yard waste when possible.
- Repair auto leaks.
- Wash your car on the lawn with phosphate-free soap or at a commercial car wash.
- Direct downspouts away from hard surfaces.
- Install a rain barrel to collect roof runoff water for outdoor watering purposes.
- Construct a rain garden to intercept stormwater and allow it to sink into the ground.
- Never dump anything down a storm drain that you wouldn’t swim in or drink!
Only rain in the drain!
Check out the Northwestern Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater Management below:
For additional resources check out the Chapter 102 and 105 Permitting page.
Example Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) at BCCD:
Program contact: Hannah Schrauder