West Virginia Parkways Authority

What Is Stormwater Runoff

What is Stormwater Runoff?   

What is stormwater runoff?​
Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground.
Why is stormwater runoff a problem?
Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system or directly to a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water, Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water.
​​When it rains, it drains. It all has to go somewhere.
Water from inside our homes goes to a wastewater facility for purification. But water from roofs, streets, and outdoor spigots goes untreated directly into storm drains - straight to our waterways - picking up all kinds of contaminants along the way!
Fun Facts
Did you know: Excess nutrients, specifically nitrogen and phosphorus, pollute stormwater run-off from urban areas, contributing to the third greatest cause of lake deterioration in the United States.
Did you know: The amount of phosphorus in grass clippings from mowing your lawn just once can produce up to 100 pounds of unwanted algae if it ends up in our lakes and ponds.
Did you know: Leaf "litter" and landscape trash account for 56% of phosphorus in urban stormwater, not to mention clogging storm drains, causing potential flooding, and increasing debris in our waterways.
Did you know: Just one pound of fertilizer over-application on the average lawn can equate to 34.2 pounds of excess algae growth in streams and lakes.
Did you know: When you wash your car in the driveway, you're washing about 120 gallons of grime-filled water downstream. The soap, together with the dirt, grease and grime flows untreated into nearby storm drains that run into lakes and streams.
Did you know: If dog owners don't clean up after their pooches, 390 million pounds of poop can wash into our waterways every year in just Colorado! Dog waste contains 10% phosphates and 2% nitrates, contributing to algae growth.
(Image by NYC Water)

You can prevent water pollution and help keep our streams and rivers clean!

(Image by NYC Water)