Storm drains are intended to drain rain and water from households (collectively called runoff) from our streets and to prevent flooding. Polluted urban runoff occurs when the runoff mixes with pollutants, like oil, paint, pet waste, pesticides, litter, and other contaminants.
Unfortunately, because this water is not filtered or treated before it enters our rivers and waterways, storm drains also serve the unintentional purpose of transporting this urban pollution, which contaminates our waterways, harms aquatic life, and increases the risk of flooding by clogging gutters and catch basins.
To prevent contamination, harm, and flooding risks, there are a number of best management practices all residents should follow.
Businesses should take care to prevent spills and dumping products into storm drains.