Caring for Storm Water is Vital for Our Environment

Storm water is from precipitation that flows across the ground and pavement when it rains or when snow and ice melt. The water seeps into the ground or drains into storm sewers. These are the drains you see at street corners or at low points on the sides of streets. Collectively, the draining water is called storm water runoff.

Storm water becomes a problem when it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants. Storm water travels through a system of pipes and roadside ditches that make up storm sewer systems. It eventually flows directly to a lake, river, stream, wetland, or coastal water. Because storm water does not get treated, the pollutants it carries along the way empty into our waters, too.

Here are some of the most important ways to prevent storm water pollution:

Properly dispose of hazardous substances such as used oil, cleaning supplies and paint—never pour them down any part of the storm sewer system. Report anyone who does.

Use pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides properly and efficiently to prevent excess runoff.

Look for signs of soil and other pollutants, such as debris and chemicals, leaving construction sites in storm water runoff or tracked into roads by construction vehicles. Report poorly managed construction sites that could impact storm water runoff to your community.

Install innovative storm water practices on residential property, such as rain barrels or rain gardens that capture storm water and keep it on site instead of letting it drain away into the storm sewer system.

Pick up after pets and dispose of their waste properly. No matter where pets make a mess—in a backyard or at the park—storm water runoff can carry pet waste from the land to the storm sewer system to a stream.

More information can be found below in the “When it Rains it Drains” brochure in Adobe Acrobat format. Be aware, the brochure is a large file and may take some time to fully download over slower Internet connections. The brochure is also available in the Township lobby.

When it Rains it Drains