Storm Water and Storm Water Runoff
Stormwater is simply water from precipitation that flows across the ground and pavement when it rains or when snow and ice melt. The water seeps into the ground or drains into storm sewers (drains at street corners and the sides of streets). Collectively, the draining water is called stormwater runoff. This runoff usually flows into the nearest stream, creek, river, lake, or ocean – untreated.
Stormwater runoff is of concern to the local community because of the pollutants it carries from the everyday activities of people and business such as over fertilizing lawns, littering, changing motor oil, and overuse of pesticides. Some other possible sources of storm water pollution include improperly connected sewer lines, leaking septic tanks, domesticated animal (pets) and wildlife waste, and dumpster leachate.
Nonpoint Source Pollution
Nonpoint Source Pollution (or people pollution) is another term for polluted runoff and other sources of water pollution that are hard to pinpoint. The term “nonpoint source pollution” comes from the federal Clean Water Act of 1987 where it is used as a catch-all for all kinds of water pollution that are not well-defined discharges (point sources) from wastewater plants or industries.
Nonpoint Source Pollution contaminates our ground water, waterways, and ocean as a result of everyday activities such as fertilizing the lawn, walking pets, changing motor oil, and littering. With each rainfall, pollutants generated by these activities are washed into storm drains that flow into our waterways and ocean or soak into the ground contaminating the ground water below.
Everyone contributes to nonpoint source pollution through daily activities. As a result, nonpoint source pollution can result in pollution of our ponds, creeks, lakes, wells, streams, rivers, bays, ground water, and ocean. The good news is that by making simple changes can help reduce nonpoint source pollution.