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What Is Stormwater? Stormwater is rain that falls on roofs or paved areas like driveways and roads. This water is carried away by a system of stormwater pipes that is separate from the sewage system. It soon reaches our rivers and eventually the ocean.
We can help prevent stormwater pollution from ruining our waterways by taking steps to stop detergents, paints, leaves, cigarette butts and other litter from ending up in our gutters and drains. Gutters and drains carry the rainwater from our streets straight into the surrounding lakes and rivers. So when it rains, stormwater runoff can carry pollutants from around our homes and streets to the waterways where we swim, boat, and fish. The surrounding plants and animals also live in this water.
Clean Up, For Gutters Sake
Natural things like leaves and soil can harm our waterways. In our gardens, leaves are scattered and decay where they fall. But when they are washed into the stormwater system, they become concentrated and can clog the drains. Imagine the impact of all the leaves and dirt in the streets from five miles around washing directly into your local waterway. These can cause big problems. When leaves and other clippings decay in water, they use up oxygen. Taking oxygen away from the water can kill plants, fish and other animals that live in our waterways. Soil is a problem too. It makes waterways cloudy and can silt them up. Silt can suffocate fish by clogging their gills.
What Can We Do To Help?
More Trash Means More Problems
One cigarette butt or bottle cap might not seem like much. But when thousands combine with other litter, they can cause serious pollution problems. Litter can block drains and cause flooding. It is also an eyesore. Dog droppings can also cause many health and pollution problems when they wash into our waterways. They can increase the level of bacteria and make our local waterways unsafe for swimming. So please pick up after your pets at home or at the park and dispose of them in the garden or in the trash bins.