Development of vacant land and the expansion of existing buildings helps to fuel the economic engine of a community.
When development occurs, natural areas are covered with impervious surfaces, preventing stormwater from soaking into the ground. The creation of impervious surfaces that accompanies urbanization significantly affects how water moves above and below ground during storms. These impervious surfaces impact the quality of stormwater, and the condition of our streams and lakes. Stormwater pollution is rapidly growing in importance as a national environmental issue. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), stormwater is the leading cause of water pollution in the Nation. Stormwater pollution occurs when rain or snow melt flows over streets and picks up trash, oil, dirt, and other pollutants as it travels. These pollutants are carried to the storm drainage system, which drains directly into our local creeks, untreated. The good news is we can do a lot to prevent water pollution by making small changes in our everyday lives. SEMSWA is committed to promoting behavior change though increased public awareness of local water quality problems associated with stormwater runoff. We accomplish this by creating educational materials, forming partnerships, and conducting outreach events.
Know the Rules
The storm drainage system is designed to convey rain water to our local waterbodies. In order to prevent stormwater pollution, residents and business must be aware of what is allowed and what is not allowed in the storm drain system. Click here to learn more about illicit (illegal) discharges.
An effective way to manage stormwater pollution is through the use of pollution control measures, often called Best Management Practices (BMPs). BMPs can be structural (such as roofing or diversion ditches) or non-structural (such as education or training). The links below contain simple steps you can take as a resident, business, or municipal operator to prevent water pollution: