General Stormwater Information

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What is Stormwater Pollution?

Stormwater is urban runoff water that has picked up pollutants as it flows through the storm drain system–a network of channels, gutters and pipes that collect runoff from city streets, neighborhoods, farms, construction sites and parking lots–and empties directly into local waterways.

Unlike sewage, which goes to treatment plants to remove toxins, urban runoff flows untreated through the storm drain system and directly into our local water bodies.

Anything thrown, swept or poured into the street, gutter or a catch basin–the curbside openings that lead into the storm drain system–can flow into our channels, rivers and eventually to the ocean.

This includes a list of pollutants like:storm drain vs sewer

photos_of_pollutants

Unlike sewage, which goes to treatment plants to remove toxins, urban runoff flows untreated through the storm drain system and directly into our local water bodies.

 Health Effects of Stormwater Pollution

faucet_waterPoses a serious health risk to people swimming or fishing in our water bodies, particularly within 400 yards of a storm drain outlet

Threatens our drinking water and polluted runoff empties into the Santa Ana River, contaminating our coastal waters

 Environmental Effects of Stormwater Pollution

dead_fishEndangers countless marine plants and animals living in the San Bernardino area, which can become sick or die from contact with stormwater pollution

 Neighborhood Effects of Stormwater Pollution

clogged_catch_basinClogged catch basins significantly decrease the quality of life in many neighborhoods throughout the County

This buildup of trash and debris can attract rats and cockroaches, create foul odors, and clog the storm drain system – affecting neighborhood aesthetics and property values

It also creates the potential for local flooding during rain and snow events, as litter, leaves and other debris clog catch basins along streets and intersections

 How To Prevent Stormwater Pollution

The beauty of pollution prevention is that everyone in San Bernardino County plays a part in keeping our area clean and safe. Simple steps in everyday life are all it takes to do you part.

Figure out which category you fit into and get involved!