Stormwater is runoff water from rain or melting snow that flows across the landscape. Runoff flows off of rooftops, paved areas, bare soil, and lawns. Runoff gathers in increasingly large amounts (from puddles, to ditches, to streams, to lakes and rivers) until it flows into the ocean.
In its journey from puddle to ocean, stormwater picks up and transports many of the pollutants it encounters. These pollutants include dirt, pet wastes, pesticides, fertilizers, automobile fluids (such as oil, gasoline, and antifreeze), deicing products, yard wastes, cigarette butts, and litter, to name a few. By carrying all these different kinds of pollution into our waterways, stormwater itself becomes a water pollutant.
Imagine how much pollution can come from an entire town’s vehicles, lawns, homes, businesses, parking lots, and litterbugs!
Along North Carolina’s rivers, there are many towns and lots of people. And all of us use that water coming from upstream. Let’s keep it clean for the people downstream!