Stormwater Pollution Info

Stormwater Management Division
Topic: Stormwater Pollution
Definition of Stormwater
• Water produced by rain that runs off the land.
• Surface runoff and drainage of water resulting from rainfall.
• Water that flows into storm drains when it rains.
Definition of Stormwater Runoff
Greatest source of water pollution.
Picks up waste as it flows across the land carrying pollutants into our waterways.
Runoff does NOT absorb into the ground.
Untreated water enters our waterways.
Effects of Pollution
Stormwater runoff is the number one cause of pollution in our water and is becoming the largest threat to
the health of our water bodies. It occurs then rainwater flows across the land and roads and picks up
pollutants along the way. As the rainwater flows into the storm drains and drainage ditches, it carries
chemicals and debris. This polluted runoff then flows untreated into the nearest river, pond, lake or stream.
Polluted stormwater runoff degrades our lakes, rivers, wetlands and other waterways. Transported soil
clouds the waterway and interferes with the habitat of fish and plant life. All living organisms need clean
water to live. Pollutants degrade water quality and are harmful to humans, wildlife and plants. Pollutants
create public health hazards and make recreation areas unsafe.
There are two types of pollution:
1. Point Source Pollution: Can be traced to one source. The source is easily identifiable such as seeing
waste materials coming from a factory’s broken pipes and entering into the waterways or sewage
system. This pollution is considered an illicit discharge and is illegal by law. If the law is broken a fine
is issued. Polluters must also clean polluted water before it goes back into the water body.
2. Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS):
Stormwater Runoff (Called also Urban Runoff): Stormwater runoff s nonpoint source pollution.
Nonpoint source pollution is water pollution that cannot be traced to its specific origin or starting point.
It originates from many different sources such as homes, streets, yards, farms and construction sites.
There are many possible sources for this type of pollution. Examples are every time it rains runoff from
the street picks up waste, motor oil, leaves, grass clippings, chemicals, pet waste and litter. These
pollutants are then washed into storm drains and eventually end up in lakes, streams and rivers. Another
source of nonpoint pollution is heavy rains carrying soil, dirt and other things into lakes, streams and
rivers. Research finding by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that nonpoint sources are
the main cause of our water pollution causing more fifty percent of the pollution in our water bodies.
Examples of Pollutants:
- Fertilizer
- Pesticides
- Gasoline
- Litter
- Leaves
- Road Salt
- Motor Oil
- Pet Wastes
- Grass Clippings
Preventing Pollution:
Water pollution is harmful to humans, wildlife and the environment. Pollution increases drinking water
treatment costs and is an added expense for the community. Always keep solid waste such as pet waste, food
grease, or oil contained and disposed of properly or recycled. Other liquid wastes such as power wash water
must be contained, captured and taken to a permitted wastewater disposal facility.
You can make a difference in our water quality and help keep the neighborhood looking good. Each of us has a
responsibility to help reduce pollution by properly disposing of debris, trash, waste and other pollutants –
pollutants that degrade water quality and are harmful to wildlife and humans.
What Homeowners Can Do:
Stormwater is the only thing that should go down a storm drain or ditch. Don’t dump things like
grass clippings, paint, construction debris, dirt, sand, paper, oil or chemicals into storm drains or
Keep drains, ditches and streets free of any material of any thing that shouldn’t be there.
Wash your car on the lawn not the driveway and use natural cleaning products. Or better yet
Wash your car at a car wash facility that does not generate runoff.
Sweep your driveway and sidewalks of debris instead of hosing it down with water.
Place pet wastes in designated pet waste containers.
Use pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers appropriately on your lawn. These products are
considered hazardous waste.
Use yard waste as a composite pile instead of disposing of it.
Use lids on trash containers.
Plant Florida-Friendly landscaping.
Sweep sidewalks, driveways and roads instead of using a hose.
Report any illegal discharge or dumping.
What Construction Sites Can Do:
Install silt fences around the construction site to contain sediments on the site.
Create a gravel area to be used as a construction entrance. Construction entrances provide an area
where mud and debris can be removed from vehicle tires before entering on a public road.
As a temporary erosion control practice, plant temporary seeding on all bare areas to provide
protection against soil movement.
Report an Illicit Discharge
ONLY rain is allowed by law to go into storm drains, everything else is illegal and can cause stormwater
Illicit Discharge Violations
Subject to a $500 Fine Per Incident Per Day
Plus Clean-up Costs
To Report an Illegal Discharge
Contact Pasco County Stormwater Management
CALL 727-834-3611