- Published: 11 March 2013
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Where does our water go?
All of the water we use inside our homes goes directly to the sanitary sewersystem to a treatment plant where it is cleaned and released into our streams. If you live in a more rural area, this water is treated and disbursed by your septic system.
What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is any rainwater or melting snow or ice that flows over the surface of the land to the nearest storm sewer, ditch, lake, or stream. Hard surfaces like driveways, roofs, parking lots, and even some lawns don’t let water soak into the ground. Instead, the water from these surfaces runs off into our storm drains, rivers, streams, and lakes and can cause flooding and increased streambank erosion as the water flows more quickly and in larger volumes.
Stormwater carries all the dirt and pollution like litter, debris, and oils into our streams and lakes. Even stormwater runoff from our lawns can contain fertilizers, grass clippings, pet waste, and pesticides. Too much stormwater entering our storm drains and ditches can cause backups and flooding, and requires additional infrastructure to clean up polluted stormwater.
Keeping pollutants out of our water is less expensive than cleaning the water, and reducing the amount of stormwater entering our storm drains and ditches will reduce the amount of flooding in our communities. Keep our streams, Lake Erie, and our drinking water supplies healthy by making some changes to what you do on your property.
Why is what I do on my property important?
- Increasing the amount of water that soaks into the ground, recharging aquifers and groundwater fed streams
- Safeguarding communities from flooding and drainage problems
- Protecting streams and lakes from pollutants carried by urban stormwater
- Enhancing the beauty of yards and neighborhoods, and
- Providing habitat for birds, butterflies, and many beneficial insects
Learn more about what you can do to reduce stormwater pollution:
The impact of your landscaping - native plants, trees, rain gardens and more