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What is storm water?

Storm water is the runoff from the landscape that occurs during a rain or melting snow and ice event, and it can carry with it pollutants from the land such as oil, litter, and sediments from roads and parking lots. Storm water is conveyed through storm drains in the street which connect to underground pipes and then outlets to a nearby stream or river.

Storm water does NOT go to a treatment plant, and in most cases is carried in a different set of pipes than sanitary sewer. Storm water can pollute streams and rivers, and can cause damage to roads and associated infrastructure such as culverts and ditches

Why should we care?

Storm water by definition is runoff from the landscape, which means that anything we put on the ground can get carried away during a rain or melting snow and ice event, into a nearby storm drain and then out to a stream or river.

We care about reducing our impact on the landscape and what gets washed away during a storm event, and we work to educate the public about storm water and its potential impacts to streams and rivers.

What can we do?

Storm water management consists of taking care of the storm system infrastructure that is in place to convey runoff during storm events, while working to reduce pollution that is washed off the landscape and into this system. The storm water system, often referred to as the storm sewer system, is NOT the same as the sanitary sewer system.

Storm water does NOT go to a treatment plant. It goes into the storm drains in the street and then conveyed out to a stream or river. Everyone has a role in reducing impacts from stormwater runoff, from the large developer constructing a new parking lot, to the homeowner using good erosion control measures and handing chemicals carefully around the house.