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Stormwater Pollution and Prevention
What is Stormwater?
Stormwater refers to the water runoff that is generated when precipitation, such as rain and snowmelt, flows over the ground or impervious surfaces like concrete, driveways, streets, parking lots, and rooftops. Instead of percolating into the ground, stormwater flows directly into surrounding washes, lakes, and streams. It is important to note that this water is NOT treated and can carry pollutants with it.
Distinguishing Sewer Systems from Stormwater Drains:
Sewer systems and stormwater drains have distinct functions. Sewage water, originating from sinks and toilets in homes and businesses, is directed to wastewater treatment plants in Scottsdale. In contrast, stormwater, which travels down driveways and streets and enters our surrounding natural washes which will eventually drain into the Cave Creek Wash.
Preventing Stormwater Pollution
Ensuring the prevention of stormwater pollution is essential for the preservation of clean water bodies. Rainwater has the potential to carry contaminants such as oil and debris from roads, while sprinklers may wash away pesticides, fertilizers, and weed killers from our gardens and lawns. Even something as routine as washing your car can introduce detergents, oils, and grease from the driveway into our waterways. To ensure the health of our water sources, it is important for citizens to be aware of common stormwater pollutants and implement best practices to help prevent contamination.
Common Stormwater Pollutants:
- Pool discharge
- Motor oil
- Animal waste
- Soaps and detergents
- Yard debris
You can help prevent stormwater pollution by
- Avoiding the dumping of waste, including organic material, into storm drains
- Regularly inspecting and maintaining your vehicle to prevent oil and antifreeze leaks
- Properly disposing of household chemicals at hazardous waste drop-off locations
- Taking oil, antifreeze, oil-based paint, paint thinner, varnishes,
- Using kitty litter to clean up leaks and spills instead of hosing them into the street
- Purchasing household and garden products that are environmentally safe
- Avoid using lawn or garden products when rain is in the upcoming forecast
- Testing your soil before applying fertilizers to avoid over-fertilizing your lawn
- Always disposing of pet waste in the garbage or by flushing it down the toilet
- Stormwater Campaign