What happens when stormwater runs off?
As stormwater runs off of rooftops and lawns and down driveways and streets, it picks up pollutants and debris. In developed areas where much of the land surface is covered by buildings and pavement, water cannot soak into the ground.

As a result, the stormwater flows over these impervious surfaces and picks up many toxic chemicals from motor oil, lead from auto exhaust, and zinc from roof drains and tires. Stormwater may also contain fertilizer, pesticides, leaves and grass clippings, sediment, bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing microorganisms can abound in storm water that carries pet waste and litter. These chemicals may kill or impair the health of aquatic life. They make waterways unsafe for swimming and other types of water recreation.

Show All Answers

1. What is a watershed?
2. What is stormwater runoff?
3. What happens when stormwater runs off?
4. What is non-point source pollution?
5. Who is responsible for addressing creek flooding?
6. What should I do if I see debris or garbage piled up in the creek at a road cross?
7. What should I do if I notice a foreign substance flowing into or see someone pouring something into a drain inlet or storm sewer?