What is stormwater pollution?
Many people think that pollution in our streams, rivers and lakes only comes from industrial facilities or wastewater treatment plants. Even if all these sources of pollution were eliminated, much of the pollution would still remain.

The remaining source of pollution that is not caused by specific, identifiable sources are called non-point source pollution. Typical pollutants include litter; sediments from exposed soil, pet waste, detergents, pesticides and fertilizers from lawns and gardens, paints, oil, grease and toxic chemicals from motor vehicles, road salts, and household hazardous wastes.

When these materials are improperly used or disposed of, they can be picked up by stormwater runoff as it flows across streets, parking lots and lawns. After this stormwater runoff travels through the storm sewer system, it is discharged to receiving waters without any treatment. As a result, any pollutant that is dumped on the ground can end up in our creeks, rivers and lakes.

There are serious problems associated with polluted stormwater. The pesticides, bacteria and chemicals that may be present in polluted stormwater can pose a health risk to people. Aquatic plants and animals living in streams and rivers may become sick or die from contact with polluted stormwater. Clogged catch basins can be unsightly and can cause flooding problems.

Since stormwater is naturally channeled to or flows through underground pipes to to the Mississippi River (and in some areas Sugar Creek and Rock River). There is no opportunity for treatment to remove pollution. So, each of us must be careful to minimize or eliminate substances which may inadvertently pollute our waterways when it rains.

If you have any questions, please contact the Engineering Department.

Show All Answers

1. What is stormwater?
2. Where does the stormwater go?
3. What is stormwater pollution?
4. Who do I contact to report a complaint or to ask more questions about stormwater?
5. Is it okay if I let my soap run into the drain, even if it’s biodegradable?
6. What rules and regulations control stormwater issues?
7. My neighbor’s stormwater runs on my property, can I divert it?
8. Can I change how stormwater flows across my property?
9. The intake in the street, or the pipe under the road is plugged; who is responsible for maintaining these?
10. There is a ravine / stream through my property; who is responsible to maintain it?
11. There is a swale or open drainage channel through my property; who is responsible to maintain it?
12. Can I put yard waste, tree limbs, compost, concrete, chemicals, etc. into my ravine?
13. Why can’t I dump my natural material (yard waste, sticks, compost, etc.) into my ravine?