What is storm water?
It is water from rain, snow or other precipitation that flows across the ground, parking lots or pavement. The water may seep into the ground or run across the ground to a storm sewer. Draining water is called storm water runoff.
What is the problem with storm water? When the water flows along the ground and pavement, it picks up chemicals, dirt and other pollutants along the way to a system of pipes and roadside ditches that make up storm sewer systems. It eventually flows directly to a lake, river, stream, wetland or coastal water. This polluted, untreated water can flow into our local water too.
What can we do to help?
- Properly dispose of hazardous materials such as oil, paint and cleaning supplies.
- Use pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides properly to prevent excess runoff.
- Pick up after pets and dispose of their waste properly
- Install innovative storm water practices on residential property such as rain barrels or rain gardens that capture storm water and keep it on site instead of letting it drain away into the sewer system
The storm water requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act are administered under the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) Program.
Information from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection brochure, click “When It Rains, It Drains: Understanding Storm Water and How It Can Affect Your Money, Safety, Health and the Environment”