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Only Rain Down the Storm Drain! Help Prevent Water Pollution

Did you know the water that goes down the storm drain on your street flows directly into your local stream? Polluted rain water is the nation’s number one water quality problem, and you can help! First, learn more about the problem. Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that doesn’t soak into the ground but runs off into the waterways. It flows from rooftops, over paved areas and bare soil, and through sloped lawns while picking up a variety of contaminants along the way. Stormwater that does not seep into the ground, drains into underground pipe systems on roadside ditches and may travel for many miles before being released into a lake, river, stream, or wetland area.

As it flows, stormwater runoff collects and transports pollutants to surface waters. The amount of pollutants from a single residential, commercial, industrial or construction site may seem unimportant but the combined concentrations of contaminants threaten our lakes, rivers, wetlands and other water bodies. Pollution conveyed by stormwater degrades the quality of drinking water; it also damages fisheries, habitats of plants and animals that depend on clean water for survival. Pollutants carried by stormwater can also negatively affect recreational use of water bodies by making them unsafe for wading, swimming, boating and fishing.

How Can You Prevent Stormwater Pollution in the City of Birmingham?

1) Report Spills or Illicit Discharges to the City of Birmingham official

  • Any dumping of inappropriate materials into storm drain (such as oil, antifreeze)
  • Construction sites over 5 acres that do not have erosion or sediment controls

2) Use good housekeeping practices with lawn care chemicals, oil, gasoline, pet wastes, etc.

3) Help start and participate in programs to learn how to recycle and safely dispose of used oil and household hazardous wastes and containers

4) Educate others about pollution from stormwater runoff and what they can do to help

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