Stormwater is the liquid precipitation that is the result of a rain event. Once the stormwater reaches the ground a portion of stormwater will evaporate back into the atmosphere, a portion will soak into the soil and regenerate groundwater, and the rest of the water will flow along the ground becoming stormwater runoff.
Is stormwater runoff bad for the environment?
In a pristine untouched area, a stormwater runoff would have virtually no negative impacts on the surrounding environment. In the world we live in today, stormwater runoff has become a transporter of pollution and can have lasting negative effects on the environment. As cities grow and more areas are covered with impervious surfaces less rainwater is absorbed into the ground and more stormwater runoff is generated. This runoff carries contaminants to our storm drains and directly into lakes and streams.
Unlike the water that goes down your sink or bathtub, which drains to the sewer collection systems, water that flows into storm drains is not treated and filtered for pollutants. This contaminated water then flows directly into drainage ditches and lakes that feed into Oyster Creek and the Brazos River. From there the pollutants flow south into the Gulf of Mexico.
Letting pollutants reach your storm drains is like contaminating your own food source. Anything other than pure rainwater is a potential contaminant that degrades water quality and aquatic life.
Types of Stormwater Pollution
It's very important that you help prevent contaminants from flowing into storm drains and never pour anything into them. Intentionally pouring pollutants into street gutters and storm drains is dangerous to the environment and is also illegal.