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Q. What is a watershed or drainage basin?
A. A drainage basin is an extent of land where water from rain or snow melt drains downhill into a body of water, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea or ocean. The drainage basin includes both the streams and rivers that convey the water as well as the land surfaces from which water drains into those channels, and is separated from adjacent basins by a drainage divide. Find out more about the importance of watersheds.

Q. What is an impervious surface?
A. Impervious surfaces are mainly artificial structures, such as pavements, rooftops, sidewalks, roads, and parking lots - covered by impenetrable materials such as asphalt, concrete, brick, and stone. Soils compacted by urban development are also highly impervious. They are an environmental concern because, with their construction, a chain of events is initiated that modifies urban air and water resources. Find out more about how we can reduce the effects of imperviousness.

Q. What is a septic system?
A. A septic system is a small scale sewage treatment system common in areas with no connection to main sewerage pipes. Find out more about what you can do to limit contamination by septic systems. 

Q. What can I do to conserve water?
A. There are many ways you can conserve and save water at home.  A dripping faucet can waste up to 20 gallons of water per day.  Inside and outside of the home you can save water. Find out what kinds of plants are used in wetlands creation.

Q. What is a wetland?
A. Wetlands provide for long term and short term water storage, subsurface water storage, energy dissipation, and moderation of groundwater flow or discharge of water.  By absorbing the force of strong winds and tides, wetlands protect terrestrial areas adjoining them from storms, floods, and tidal damage. Learn more about wetlandsLearn more about wetland buffers and why they are necessary.

Q. What is stormwater?
A. Stormwater is a term used to describe water that originates during precipitation events. It may also be used to apply to water that originates with snowmelt or runoff water from over watering that enters the stormwater system. Stormwater that does not soak into the ground becomes surface runoff, which either flows into surface waterways or is channeled into storm sewers.

Stormwater is of concern for two main issues: one related to the volume and timing of runoff water (flood control and water supplies) and the other related to potential contaminants that the water is carrying, i.e. water pollution. Learn more about the importance of effective stormwater management.

Wondering how you can conserve water under a variety of circumstances?  Learn more