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Storm water is the flow of water that results from precipitation and occurs immediately following rainfall or as a result of snowmelt. When a precipitation event occurs, several things happen to the water.
Some of the precipitation infiltrates into the soil surface, some is taken up by plants, and some is evaporated into the atmosphere. Storm water runoff is the remainder of the precipitation that flows off land surfaces and impervious areas into storm sewers and drainage ways.
Storm water runoff is the rainfall or snow-melt that runs off surfaces like roads, buildings, sidewalks, or compacted ground surfaces.
Storm water 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 storm water pond so the pollutants can be removed from the water before they can seep into the ground.
As communities grow, they often experience more storm water runoff problems due to the increase in areas that don’t absorb storm water. 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.
The term storm water management means controlling storm water, where it goes, and keeping storm water free of pollutants. Storm water management goes hand in hand with the development of towns and cities.
Storm water runoff is a major problem when it picks up garbage, debris, sediment, and other pollutants from parking lots, yards, streets, etc. Unclean storm water runoff discharges result in the loss of fish and aquatic wildlife from streams and creeks.
When proper stormwater management is implemented, this runoff is directed to stormwater management.
When this runoff is temporarily stored in a stormwater management facility, pollutants such as oil, chemicals, sediment, bacteria, etc. have the opportunity to settle out, thus improving the quality of the downstream waterway.
Tips for preventing storm water runoff include: