What is stormwater runoff?

Stormwater runoff is the rainfall or snow-melt that runs off surfaces like roads, buildings, sidewalks, or compacted ground surfaces.

Stormwater runoff will usually flow into a storm drain or a ditch leading to a wetland, lake, river, or ocean. Sometimes it is channeled into a man-made stormwater pond so the pollutants can be removed from the water before they can seep into the ground.

As communities grow, they often experience more stormwater runoff problems due to the increase in areas that don’t absorb stormwater. Rainfall and snow-melt that would normally infiltrate into the soil becomes runoff. This increases both the volume and rate of runoff, which leads to flooding, stream bank erosion, and potential damages to public and private property and water quality.

Show All Answers

1. What is stormwater?
2. What is stormwater runoff?
3. Why is stormwater management important?
4. What can you do to prevent stormwater runoff?