What Is Stormwater?
Stormwater is the result of rainfall or snowmelt that flows over our lawns, streets, parking lots and buildings. This water then runs into our storm drains and ditches and directly into our lakes, streams, and rivers, carrying all the pollutants it picks up along the way.Why Is Stormwater Important?
As stormwater flows over lawns, driveways, parking lots and construction sites it is picking up pollutants such as: fertilizers, oil, yard waste, litter, animal waste, and anything else along the way. The storm drain system then transports these pollutants into the nearest lake, stream or river. Everything that goes into the storm drains are ending up in the lakes. These pollutants are causing algae blooms, increased temperature and contributing to the degradation of our lakes, streams and rivers.Where Does Stormwater Go In Livingston County?
The majority of Livingston County is comprised of 3 watersheds. In the south, stormwater drains to the Huron River Watershed; to the northeast, it drains to the Shiawassee River Watershed; and to the west, stormwater drains to the Red Cedar Watershed. The stormwater in a small portion of the northwest section of the county drains to the Looking Glass Watershed. This means that all the creeks, streams, ditches, and drains in the county eventually drain to these 4 watersheds and then into the Great Lakes. What Is An Illicit Discharge?
An illicit discharge is the discharge of pollutants or non-stormwater materials to storm sewer systems via overland flow or direct dumping of materials into a catch basin. These non-stormwater discharges occur due to illegal connections to the storm drain system from business or commercial establishments. As a result of these illicit connections, contaminated wastewater enters into storm drains or directly into local waters before receiving treatment from a wastewater treatment plant. Illicit connections may be intentional or may be unknown to the business owner and often are due to the connection of floor drains to the storm sewer system. Additional sources of illicit discharges can be failing septic systems, illegal dumping practices, overland drainage from a carwash, dumping used motor oil in or around a catch basin, and the improper disposal of sewage from recreational practices such as boating or camping.
Our goal now is to have all the residents in our community become aware of watershed management and what they can do to improve their water quality.