Grimes MS4 Permit
Draining Pools & Spas
Living Near a Stream
Oil & Grease Disposal
Soil Health & Your Lawn
Construction Site Winter Compliance
Stormwater Snow Melt Runoff
What is stormwater?
Stormwater is the flow of water that results from precipitation and which occurs immediately following rainfall or as a result of snowmelt. When a precipitation event occurs, several things happen to the water.
Some of the precipitation infiltrates into the soil surface, some is taken up by plants, and some is evaporated into the atmosphere. Stormwater runoff is the remainder of the precipitation that flows off land surfaces and impervious areas into storm sewers and drainage ways.
What is stormwater runoff?
Stormwater 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 it can seep into the ground.
As communities grow, they often experience more stormwater runoff problems due to the increase in areas that don’t absorb stormwater. 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.
Why is stormwater management important?
The term stormwater management means controlling stormwater, where it goes, and keeping stormwater free of pollutants. Stormwater management goes hand in hand with the development of towns and cities.
Stormwater runoff is a major problem when it picks up garbage, debris, sediment, and other pollutants from parking lots, yards, streets, etc. Unclean stormwater runoff discharges result in the loss of fish and aquatic wildlife from streams and creeks.
When proper stormwater management is implemented, this runoff is directed to a stormwater management.
When this runoff is temporarily stored in a stormwater management facility, pollutants such as oil, chemicals, sediment, bacteria, etc. have the opportunity to settle out, thus improving the quality of the downstream waterway.
What can you do?
Conserve and recycle resources such as newspapers, plastic containers, glass jars, and metal cans.
Sweep grass clippings, leaves, and fertilizer from driveways, streets, and flumes.
Don’t dump hazardous substances such as used oil, household chemicals, yard treatment chemicals, or other waste onto pavement or into storm drains.
Prevent excess runoff of pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides by using them properly and efficiently.
Fertilize your lawn, not nearby water sources. Understand your fertilizer label, and follow proper application rates.
Natural waste can be damaging as well. Leaves, grass clippings, and erosion are all sources of phosphorus, which turns lakes and rivers green with algae. Dispose of these properly so they do not wash into the storm drain.
Clean up after pets. Pet waste contains phosphorus and harmful bacteria.