What is storm water runoff?

Storm water runoff is the rainfall or snow-melt that runs off surfaces like roads, buildings, sidewalks, or compacted ground surfaces.

Storm water runoff will usually flow into a storm drain or a ditch leading to a wetland, lake, river, or ocean. Sometimes it is channeled into a man-made storm water pond so the pollutants can be removed from the water before they can seep into the ground.

As communities grow, they often experience more storm water runoff problems due to the increase in areas that don’t absorb storm water. Rainfall and snow-melt that would normally infiltrate into the soil becomes runoff. This increases both the volume and rate of runoff, which leads to flooding, stream bank erosion, and potential damages to public and private property and water quality.

Show All Answers

1. What is storm water?
2. What is storm water runoff?
3. Why is storm water management important?
4. What can you do to prevent storm water runoff?