What is stormwater runoff?

In a natural, undisturbed environment, vegetated landscapes absorb rain. Stormwater runoff is water from rain or melting snow that accumulates and washes across streets, buildings, and parking lots instead of seeping into the groundHard surfaces do not typically help slow down water flows so all the accumulated runoff can cause erosion and flooding that harms properties and wildlife habitat. Anything that can move with the stormwater like sediment, car drippings, fertilizer, pesticides, pet waste and vegetation cuttings would be considered a pollutant to local waterways. This is because stormwater runoff  travels untreated, in most cases, directly into the nearest creek, river or lake.

Why is clean stormwater important?

Polluted stormwater runoff is the number one cause of water pollution in North Carolina and an important contributor to flooding. As a result, stormwater has the potential to be very disruptive to our day to day lives. By properly managing stormwater, we can reduce that impact and even start to treat stormwater as a resource.

How can you help stop stormwater pollution?

Most stormwater pollution is completely preventable. Here are a few simple tips that can reduce your stormwater impact. You can read more in our DO YOUR PART section.

  • Regularly check your car for drips or leaks. Recycle car parts and liquids at automotive stores.
  • Dispose of paint according to the label.
  • Pick up after your pet. You can bag it and trash it, or bury it a foot deep and covered 8 inches of soil.
  • Use pesticides and fertilizers according to the label. Do not overuse. Consider exploring alternative methods, which can be easy to use, effective, and inexpensive.
  • Take your car to a car wash or wash it on the grass.
  • Pick up your trash. Reduce, reuse, and recycle when possible.
  • Allow downspouts to empty rainwater onto your grass rather than piping to the street.
  • You can anonymously report pollution, flooding, or dumping to the Stormwater infoline 336-564-1600.

Learn More

Request an Environmental Education Presentation.
Sign up for our listserv for events and volunteer opportunities (http://listserv.toknc.com/mailman/listinfo/stormwater).