Runoff / Pollution

Each time it rains, stormwater runoff (rainfall that does not soak into the ground) picks up debris such as litter, pesticides, chemicals, motor oil, and dirt as it flows across rooftops, lawns, streets, and parking lots.  These pollutants are deposited, untreated, into our waterways.

Uncontrolled or polluted stormwater runoff can result in:  flooding; increased stream bank erosion; destruction of aquatic life; premature filling of our streams, rivers, and reservoirs with sediment; and increased cost of treating potable water supplies.  It is important to remember that our stormwater runoff becomes another community’s river, lake, or drinking water.

Remember only rain goes down the storm drain!


What can residents do?


1. Do not pour anything into a storm drain.  The drains in the roads are meant to only drain rainwater.  The structures do not carry water to a chemical treatment facility.  The water drains to the streams. Do not blow yard waste and leaves into storm structures, ditches or streams.  This clogs pipes and prevents water flowing to the stream.

2. Pick up after your pet.  Pet waste should be picked up and disposed of in your trash can.  Do not throw it into the storm drainage structures or the stream.  The bacteria from pet waste does not fertilize your yard and is detrimental to fish and other organisms in the stream.

3. Maintain your septic system.  Septic systems require routine maintenance to function. When septic fields fail, the contaminated runoff water enters our streams.

4. Get involved.  Volunteer for a stream clean-up or tree planting project.  Take a class and learn how to properly care for your lawn and garden or build a rain barrel.  Bring something to one of the various recycle days (computers, electronics, Christmas trees, household hazardous waste, paint).

5. Report issues.  City staff cannot be everywhere in the City.  If you see something that doesn’t look right, report it.

6. Maintain private detention ponds.  Detention ponds or stormwater management facilities provide multiple benefits including water quality treatment and flood control.  Ponds in subdivisions, townhome communities, and on commercial, industrial, or office developments are privately maintained.  Make sure you do your part by having your pond inspected and maintained on a regular basis.

7. Recycle.  The City offers recycling services for all residents.  Do your part by reusing materials and recycling.

8.Watch what you send down the drain in your house.  Fats, oils, greases, and rags or wipes should not be flushed down the toilet or poured into a sink drain.  These items harden and clog sewer pipes which can cause backups in your home or office and can send sewage into streams.  Fats, oils, greases, and rags or wipes should be placed in your trash receptacle.

9. Don’t litter.  If you see areas of excessive litter along roadways or large debris items in the right-of-way, please report it through See Click Fix ( or by calling 678-297-6200.