Why does stormwater matter?

Everything that you see, and a lot that you can't see laying in the gutters or on the street is carried into the storm drains by rain or melting snow. Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.

Sediment can cloud the water, inhibiting growth of aquatic plants and animals, and destroying the habitat.

Bacteria and other pathogens can wash into swimming and fishing areas, and create health hazards.

Litter - plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles, and cigarette butts - washed into water bodies reduces our water quality and can harm aquatic animals.

Household hazardous wastes like insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil, and other chemical fluids can poison aquatic life. People can become sick and die from ingestion of diseased fish or polluted water.

Polluted water affects drinking water sources. This, in turn, can affect human health and increase drinking water treatment costs.