Stormwater is water that naturally falls from the sky. Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain events flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground.
Where does the rain that falls go? If you live in the city, runoff from your yard and driveway probably flows into the street where it drops into storm drains… but then where does it go?
Many people think that water for the storm drain system is treated at a wastewater treatment plant and all of the pollutants are removed. In truth, urban runoff flows untreated through the storm drain system directly into creeks and rivers.
As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality. Anything thrown, swept or poured into the street, gutter or storm drain flows directly into our creeks without treatment or filtering.
Stormwater pollution is runoff that has picked up pollutants as it flows over the land and through the storm drain system – a network of channels, gutters, and pipes that collect runoff from city streets, neighborhoods, farms, construction sites and parking lots and empties into our local waterways.
Sonoma Water’s stormwater management plan incorporates appropriate activities and best management practices (BMPs) for activities related to its flood control and general fund activities to prevent stormwater pollution.
Sonoma Water is currently involved in a collaborative process to create Stormwater Resource Plans in order to prioritize and implement multi-benefit stormwater projects which consider climate change resiliency, groundwater management, and flood protection, among other factors.
Everyone can do their part to prevent storm water pollution. Click here to report non-stormwater spills or dumping.
For more information about Sonoma Water's Stormwater program, please contact Kevin Booker via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (707) 521-1865.