Stormwater Management is the process of controlling the runoff from precipitation (i.e, rain or snow) that flows off of impervious surfaces like parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, and rooftops. Unchecked stormwater flows from these hard surfaces to streets and gutters, which carry the untreated runoff to the Coldwater River and Arkabutla Lake.
Stormwater pollution refers to many types of harmful materials that are carried by rainwater and wash water through the storm drain system to our creeks and lakes. Ultimately this pollution reaches the Coldwater River and Arkabutla Lake because it makes its way through their tributaries. While water we use in our homes and businesses drains to a treatment plant or septic system, stormwater and anything else dumped or spilled outdoors flows into the storm drain system and directly to our waterways. Stormwater is not cleaned or treated in any way.
Stormwater pollution has many sources. One of the most common is the illicit disposal or spilling of wastes directly into storm drains, like pouring used motor oil or paint directly into a storm drain or ditch. Another common source of pollution is sediment from disturbed areas such as construction sites.
Pollutants also enter storm drains when it rains; rain runs off roofs, streets, parking lots, and other paved and impervious surfaces and flows into the nearest storm drain, picking up impurities along the way. Rain, as well as waters from hoses and sprinklers, carries detergents from car washing in addition to sediment, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers to the storm drain. From the storm drain, water flows directly into the nearest waterway-garbage, toxins, sediment and all.