One of the main culprits of water pollution in the watershed is stormwater runoff.
When rain falls on hard surfaces, it washes pollutants such as bacteria and parasites from pet waste, and chemicals from fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, ice melt, motor oil, antifreeze, and windshield washer fluid directly into catch basins or storm drains.
Storm drains are connected via underground pipes to nearby water bodies, and all of the contaminated stormwater runoff flows directly into local streams, rivers, ponds, and the ocean, untreated. Anything that gets dumped, thrown or washed into a storm drain eventually gets discharged to a river, stream, pond, or wetland.
Polluted stormwater causes problems for local drinking water sources; recreational activities like swimming, boating and fishing; and aquatic life.
The simplest way to prevent stormwater pollution is to keep our pavement clean and redirect water away from stormdrains.
Protecting receiving waters
Before the landscape was developed, far more rainwater would seep into the ground and be filtered by soil, plant roots and microorganisms, before joining the groundwater or seeping from the soil into a waterway.
Today, realizing just how much of the ground has been covered in impervious material, communities are incorporating stormwater-cleaning structures, called BMPs (Best Management Practices) into the built landscape. Examples of BMPs include bioretention cells, rain gardens and tree-filter-boxes.