STORM WATER FACT SHEET
What is stormwater runoff?
Stormwater is surface water that includes precipitation from rain, snow melt and irrigation. The water runs across rooftops, lawns, pavement and other surfaces into storm drains inlets that are located on or near school property.
Why is stormwater runoff a problem?
Along its journey storm water picks up contaminants like litter, oil and antifreeze leaks from cars, pesticides and fertilizers used on lawns, and spilled paints or solvents. Storm water ends up untreated in our streams, rivers, and lakes that we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water.
The effects of pollution:
Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.
· Dirt or sediment from construction projects or erosion cloud water and make it difficult or impossible for aquatic plants to grow. Sediment can also destroy aquatic habitats.
· Excess nutrients from fertilizer can cause algae blooms. When algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a process that removes oxygen from the water. Low oxygen levels make it impossible for fish and other aquatic organisms to exist.
· Debris – plastic bags, paper products, bottles, and cigarette butts – washed into water bodies can choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life like ducks, fish, and birds.
· Hazardous wastes like insecticides, pesticides, paint,solvents, and used motor oil can poison aquatic life. Land animals can become sick or die from eating diseased fish or ingesting polluted water.
· Polluted stormwater often affects drinking water sources. This, in turn, can affect human health and increase drinking water treatment costs.
What you can do:
ü Wash your vehicle at a carwash to prevent soaps from entering storm drains.
ü Use dry cleaning methods for outside surface cleaning activities.
ü Don’t wash grass clippings and yard waste into storm drains.
ü Correct erosion problems right away.
ü Use pesticides and slow-release fertilizers properly. Use non-toxic alternatives.
ü Dispose of household hazardous waste properly. Use non-toxic alternatives.
ü Dispose of used motor oil responsibly – recycle it!
ü Keep garbage dumpster lids closed to prevent illegal dumping and keep rain out.
ü Never dispose of paint or paint-related products in the gutters or storm drains. This is called illegal dumping.
District 50 has a Storm Water Management Program to reduce this storm water runoff pollution. If you have questions concerning our storm water program or witness illegal dumping of used oil, or other illicit dumping on school grounds, please report it immediately by calling 720-542-5154.
Remember – Only rain down the storm drain!