What is Stormwater?
precipitation that does not soak into the ground.
Imagine a raindrop
falling from the sky. It first flows over your rooftop, across the lawn
and down your driveway. It makes its way along the sidewalk and
into the road. At this point in the stormwater cycle, the raindrop is no
longer traveling alone; it has picked up some pesticides and fertilizer
from your lawn, a bit of bacteria from your pet's waste, as well as some
petroleum and oil from your driveway. Don't forget about the sediment
from the road or the gum wrapper and cigarette butts from the sidewalk.
As the raindrop
continues down the road, it might flow directly into your local river or
lake, or it might go through a ditch or a storm drain. If it flows
into a storm drain it continues to flow through an underground network
of pipes, where it discharges through an outfall,
untreated, into your local swimming hole.
Now imagine an
entire storm — lots of raindrops — or lots of melting snow — acting like
a giant broom sweeping the pollutants into streams and ponds, then into
Maine's rivers, lakes, and ocean! It happens, over and over again every
season, every year, and it's called stormwater pollution!