MYTH: Stormwater is clean.
BUSTED: As it flows over the land, stormwater runoff collects and transports sediment, pet waste, pesticides, fertilizer, automobile fluids, deicing products, grass clippings, leaves and other yard waste, cigarette butts, and other litter. All of which create nutrients in the water that are harmful to the environment and water life.
MYTH: Stormwater drains lead to treatment plants.
BUSTED: Storm drains and storm sewers directly convey runoff from your neighborhood into local waterways: creeks, rivers, lakes, sounds, and the ocean. Unlike wastewater, stormwater is not treated before it goes into our waterways.
MYTH: The pollutants in stormwater are not really harmful.
BUSTED: Little drips can add up to a big environmental problem. The volume of waste oil from one oil change is enough to form a film over a 4-acre surface water supply. Stormwater is one of the largest sources of water quality damage.
MYTH: Stormwater flows only to local streams.
BUSTED: Stormwater makes its way to all water bodies such as streams, rivers, lakes, bays, and even to the ocean.
MYTH: Stormwater is mainly an urban problem.
BUSTED: Stormwater runs off agricultural fields and pastures, carrying herbicides, fertilizers, nutrients, and sediment. Stormwater also runs off paved urban communities and even the backyards in our neighborhoods.
MYTH: Industries are the greatest source of water pollution.
BUSTED: Construction, urban and agricultural stormwater runoff rivals discharges from factories and sewage treatment plants as a source of pollution throughout the United States.
MYTH: Roads are responsible for most of the state’s stormwater runoff.
BUSTED: Roads typically make up about 3-5% of the total land use in urban areas and often less than 1% of a whole state.
MYTH: The state should take care of all stormwater pollution.
BUSTED: The state manages only a limited portion of the land. All of us—individuals, farmers, and industrial and commercial operations—must also do our part.
MYTH: Stormwater pollution will eventually go away.
BUSTED: The problem will continue to grow, unless each one of us does our part. By practicing simple techniques, such as keeping your car tuned, recycling motor oil, checking for leaks, composting yard clippings, and cleaning up after pets, you can play a part in preventing pollution.