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What Is Stormwater

Stormwater is rain that runs off of impervious surfaces such as rooftops, paved streets, driveways, and parking lots.  As stormwater flows over these impervious surfaces it can collect pollutants such as sediment, trash, chemicals, oils, soaps, pet waste and fertilizers.  Stormwater is not treated or cleaned before it empties directly into local streams, creeks, and lakes that are used for fishing, swimming, and providing our drinking water.  Pollutants entering creeks and lakes can have negative effects on human health, increase treatment costs, and result in loss of wildlife diversity in and around the waterbody. 

What Are Illicit Discharge


Any discharge into the stormwater drainage network that is not entirely composed of stormwater is an illicit discharge.  Examples of an illicit discharge are motor oils, yard clippings, sediment, sewage, chemicals, fertilizers, and water used from carpet cleaning, car washing, pressure washing.  Swimming pools being drained when the water has not been first un-chlorinated is another example of an illicit discharge.  Illicit discharges can cause local waterbodies to become cloudy, cause an increase in nutrients and bacteria, and raise the cost of the water treatment process.  Eliminating illicit discharges is an important step in protecting local waterbodies, and utilmately, your drinking water.  

What Are BMP's

Best Management Practices (BMP's) are schedules of activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures, structural controls, local ordinances and other management practices designed to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants.  BMP's also include treatment requirements, operating procedures, and practices to control runoff, spills or leaks, waste disposal, or drainage from raw material storage areas.  Construction sites are required to utilize BMP's in order to minimize the amount of displaced sediment and debris reaching the stormwater drainage network.  Some examples of BMP's at construction sites are silt fences, inlet protection, detention basins, construction entrances, concrete washout areas, wheel wash areas, and vegetation.

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