What we do on land eventually affects our water resources.
Stormwater runoff is the excess rain or melted snow that cannot be absorbed by the soil and flows off our roofs, and over our yards, parking lots, and streets. It becomes nonpoint source pollution when it picks up contaminants along the way such as litter, fertilizer, and car oils, and enters a storm drain system where it is transported to a waterbody. Stormwater runoff has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a major contributor of pollution to our watercourses, waterbodies and wetlands, and is also a concern for flooding.
Storm drains are the grate openings you see along curbs, streets and parking lots. Their purpose is to collect stormwater runoff and direct it through a conveyance system to a discharge point such as a stream or lake. A sanitary sewer, on the other hand, takes household waste water from toilets, sinks and showers and transports it to a wastewater treatment facility where the water is treated thoroughly before it is released.
Frogline - Nonpoint Source Pollution Education Video
Join Finneas Frog and Kris Kroak as they show us how to prevent nonpoint source pollution in our daily lives in a YouTube video presented by Water Environment Federation.
Westchester County Efforts
In November 1999 the EPA finalized regulations that require small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in urbanized areas to reduce discharges from storm sewers to the maximum extent practicable by developing and implementing programs to manage stormwater runoff. Many of Westchester County’s programs already meet these permit requirements, and others are being created to provide even more protection of our water resources.
What can I do?
Your day-to-day activities on land have an effect on your water quality, whether it’s your drinking water or your favorite beach, but there are simple things that you can do differently in order to protect this valuable, natural resource.