You’ve probably heard the saying “April Showers Bring may Flowers!”, but spring downpours bring us something else too: Stormwater.
Stormwater is runoff from rain events. When it flows over impervious surfaces, or the rain is too heavy to soak into the ground it lands on, we direct it into surface waters. Most counties or towns control stormwater through Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) which are the systems of gutters, drainage ditches, storm drains, etc used to carry stormwater to streams, lakes, creeks, and rivers. MS4s have to include a large amount of infrastructure, because there is a lot of stormwater to deal with! To get perspective on just how much water we’re talking about, consider the fact that 1” of rain over only 1 acre of land is equivalent to 27,154 gallons of water weighing 113 tons!
So why worry about stormwater? Because unfortunately stormwater can pick up just about everything it flows over before it gets to our surface waters. Stormwater contributes to sediment pollution, the number 1 pollutant in surface waters, but it can also pick up trash, oils, grease, chemicals from building or cars, pesticides, pet wastes, and more.
You can help protect our waters though! Here are a few simple ways you can help prevent stormwater pollution:
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