Public Works

Stormwater FAQ

What is Stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff is unfiltered water that reaches streams, lakes, sounds, and oceans by means of flowing across impervious surfaces. These surfaces include roads, parking lots, driveways, and roofs.

How water recycles itself
The water cycle is the process by which water is recycled. To many people, recycling seems like a fairly new concept. Actually, water has been recycling itself for thousands of years. This natural water recycling system is highly sophisticated and successful.

An ideal water cycle:

    • rain falls on the earth, it follows one of four paths:
    • It soaks into porous ground surfaces and becomes part of the groundwater, which feeds streams and wetlands and supplies much of our drinking water;
    • It remains in lakes or topsoil and eventually evaporates;
    • It is absorbed by vegetation and then transpires (evaporates from the plant tissues); or
    • It forms streams and rivers that eventually empty to the Gulf of Mexico

What is stormwater management?
Stormwater management is management of the pollution in drainage - whether it's from a flood or from hosing it off your driveway and the rainwater picking it up and floating it eventually to our rivers, streams and oceans. 

What is the Federal Clean Water Act?
The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the cornerstone of surface water quality protection in the United States. (The Act does not deal directly with ground water nor with water quantity issues.) The statute employs a variety of regulatory and non regulatory tools to sharply reduce direct pollutant discharges into waterways, finance municipal wastewater treatment facilities, and manage polluted runoff. These tools are employed to achieve the broader goal of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters so that they can support "the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation
in and on the water.”  READ MORE