Water from rain and melting
snow that flows over lawns, parking lots
and streets is known as stormwater runoff.
This water, which travels along gutters,
into catch basins and through storm drain
pipes and ditches, usually is not treated,
but then flows or is discharged into local
waterbodies. Along the way, the stormwater
picks up trash (fast-food wrappers, cigarette
butts, styrofoam cups, etc.) and toxins
and other pollutants (gas, motor oil, antifreeze,
fertilizers, pesticides and pet droppings).
This polluted stormwater can kill fish and
other wildlife, destroy wildlife habitat,
contaminate drinking water sources and force
the closing of beaches because of health
threats to swimmers.
Human activity is largely responsible for
the stormwater pollution. Everything that
we put on the ground or into the storm drain
can end up in our water. Each of us has
a responsibility to make sure these contaminants
stay out of our water. Whether we have clean
water is up to you.