Stormwater Management Program

water pollution2

What is stormwater runoff?
 

Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snow melt events flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground. 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 if the runoff is discharged untreated.

The runoff can erode watercourses such as streams and rivers as well as cause flooding after the stormwater collection system is overwhelmed by the additional flow. Because the water is flushed out of the watershed during the storm event, little infiltrates the soil, replenishes groundwater, or supplies stream base flow in dry weather.

Pollutants entering surface waters during precipitation events are termed polluted runoff. Daily human activates activities result in deposition of pollutants on roads, lawns, roofs, farm fields, etc. When it rains, water runs off and ultimately make its way to a river, lake, or the ocean. While there is some attenuation of these pollutants before entering the receiving waters, the quantity of human activity results in large enough quantities of pollutants to impair these receiving waters.

Natural & Impervious surfaces

stormwater

The effects of pollution
Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and people.

  • Sediment can cloud the water and make it difficult or impossible for aquatic plants to grow. Sediment also can destroy aquatic habitats. 
  •  Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms. When algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a process that removes oxygen from the water. Fish and other aquatic organisms can’t exist in water with low dissolved oxygen levels.
  • Bacteria and other pathogens can wash into swimming areas and create health hazards, often making beach closures necessary. 
  • Debris—plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles, and cigarette butts—washed into water bodies can choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life like ducks, fish, turtles, and birds. 
  • Household hazardous wastes like insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil, and other auto fluids can poison aquatic life. Land animals and people can become sick or die from eating diseased fish and shellfish or ingesting polluted water. 
  • Polluted storm water often affects drinking water sources. This, in turn, can affect human health and increase drinking water treatment costs.

STORMWATER POLLUTION SOLUTIONS

RESIDENTIAL
Recycle or properly dispose of household products that contain chemicals, such as insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, and used motor oil and other auto fluids. Do not pour them onto the ground or into storm drains.

Lawn care
Excess fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and gardens wash off and pollute streams. In addition, yard clippings and leaves can wash into storm drains and contribute nutrients and organic matter to streams.

Auto care
Washing your car and cleaning auto parts at home can send detergents and other contaminants through the storm sewer system. Dumping automotive fluids into storm drains has the same result as dumping the materials directly into a water body.

Pet waste
Pet waste can be a major source of bacteria and excess nutrients in local waters. 

  • When walking your pet, remember to pick up the waste and dispose of it properly. Flushing pet waste is the best disposal method. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain and eventually into local water bodies.
COMMERCIAL
Dirt, oil, and debris that collect in parking lots and paved areas can be washed into the storm sewer system and eventually enter local water bodies.  

  • Sweep up litter and debris from sidewalks, driveways and parking lots, especially around storm drains. Cover grease storage and dumpsters and keep them clean to avoid leaks. 
  • Report any chemical spill to the local hazardous waste cleanup team. They’ll know the best way to keep spills from harming the environment.
CONSTRUCTION
Erosion controls that aren’t maintained can cause excessive amounts of sediment and debris to be carried into the storm water system. Construction vehicles can leak fuel, oil, and other harmful fluids that can be picked up by storm water and deposited into local water bodies.   

  • Divert storm water away from disturbed or exposed areas of the construction site. 
  • Install silt fences, vehicle mud removal areas, vegetative cover, and other sediment and erosion controls and properly maintain them, especially after rainstorms. 
  • Prevent soil erosion by minimizing disturbed areas during construction projects, and seed and mulch bare areas as soon as possible.
DRAINAGE AND FLOODING
It is not uncommon for many areas of the city to experience street flooding  during heavy rainfall.  Normally, the water will drain in a relatively short time, but if there are obstructions or blockages in the drainage system, more serious flooding may occur.

The average amount of rainfall passing through Hewitt each year is estimated at 1.6 billion gallons.  As cities develop, land that was once agricultural is converted to urban and suburban uses.

One inch of rain equals .623 gallons per square foot of catchment surface.

One inch of rain falling on a 1,000 sq ft catchment surface equals 600 gallons of water.

One inch of rain falling on a 1 acre of catchment surface equals 27,000 gallons of water.

Any questions or concerns, please contact City of Hewitt Water Department at 254-666-3151.

What is stormwater runoff?

Stormwater runoff is water from rain or melting snow that “runs off” across the land instead of seeping into the ground. This runoff usually flows into the nearest stream, creek, river, lake or ocean. The runoff is not treated in any way.

What is stormwater runoff?

Stormwater runoff is water from rain or melting snow that “runs off” across the land instead of seeping into the ground. This runoff usually flows into the nearest stream, creek, river, lake or ocean. The runoff is not treated in any way.

What is stormwater runoff?

Stormwater runoff is water from rain or melting snow that “runs off” across the land instead of seeping into the ground. This runoff usually flows into the nearest stream, creek, river, lake or ocean. The runoff is not treated in any way.