Stormwater runoff is known as the water from rain and melting snow that flows over lawns, parking lots and streets. This water, which travels along gutters, into catch basins/inlets and through storm drain pipes and ditches, is typically not treated. Ultimately it either flows naturally or is discharged into local waterbodies.
Along the way, stormwater picks up trash (fast food wrappers, cigarette butts, styrofoam cups, etc.), toxins and other pollutants (gas, motor oil, antifreeze, fertilizers, pesticides and pet droppings). This polluted stormwater can kill fish, destroy wildlife habitat, contaminate drinking water sources and force the closing of beaches because of health threats to swimmers.
Human activity is largely responsible for the stormwater pollution. Everything that we put on the ground or into the storm drain can end up in our water. Each of us has a responsibility to make sure these contaminants stay out of our water. Whether we have clean water is up to you.
Visit the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection website to find small changes you can make every day to help improve water quality.