The Stormwater Education program provides community education about the problems and solutions to stormwater pollution, floodplain development, flood safety and preparedness. Community education can make a difference in both the quantity and quality of stormwater that reaches our local waterways. This education program seeks to reduce known pollutants from individual and community sources, provide the community with information on responsible development and give our residents the tools to protect their families and property from flood damage.

Water from rain, melting snow or ice either seeps into the ground or “runs off” to lower areas, making its way into streams, rivers, and lakes. This “stormwater” runoff can carry pollutants from activities like landscaping/gardening, car washing, vehicle maintenance and pool cleaning into local waterways creating water quality problems. Stormwater runoff can also cause stream banks to erode when the velocity of the water increases during heavy rain events.

Polluted stormwater runoff can:

  • Affect Your Health: High levels of pollution (toxic metals, excess nutrients, and high levels of bacteria) can cause water to become unsafe for drinking, swimming, or boating.
  • Harm Wildlife:  Excess pollutants, such as chemical fertilizers, may cause high levels of algae growth that can lead to fish kills and ruin the beauty of our ponds and lakes. In addition, when runoff travels across impervious surfaces, the water temperature can increase due to the transfer of heat from impervious pavement. Warmer water can hold less oxygen, decreasing the oxygen level in streams and rivers. This can cause stress to the fish living in the river, and in extreme situations can lead to fish kills.
  • Cause or Worsen Flooding: During significant storm events, pavement and other impervious surfaces increase the amount and speed at which runoff enters streams, creeks and rivers which can cause or worsen flooding. The rush of water can cause erosion, washing everything from sediment to trees into these waterways, and also change their normal flow pattern.
  • Cost You Money: Cleaning water due to polluted runoff costs taxpayer’s money. Pollutants found in runoff water can include oil, pesticides, fertilizers, soil from construction sites, pet waste, and trash. In addition to the pollutants described above, sewer overflows and construction projects can harm the health of our local waterways.
  • Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO): When sewers lines become clogged or are broken, wastewater can be introduced to local waterways. Wastewater can contain bacteria, parasites and viruses along with excess levels of nutrients. This can make the water unsafe for recreational activities like swimming, boating or fishing.
  • Construction Impacts: Construction activities can disturb the ground, allowing sediment to be washed into local waterways carrying construction debris and other pollutants. This sediment not only transports pollutants into our waterways but the sediment can over time decrease the water storage capacity of these waterways and increase flooding.