View our most recent fact sheet: Chemicals Are Polluting Our Water Supply!
Stormwater runoff from rainwater or melting snow transports pollutants into the stormwater system and ultimately into our local streams. Roads, parking lots, driveways, and rooftops prevent water from soaking into the ground. Instead, a large amount of stormwater goes directly into our streams. Because this stormwater runoff is not cleaned or filtered, many of our streams are polluted.
Many streams are impaired by priority organic compounds (POCs), which means there are enough chemicals in surface waters that they can accumulate in fish tissue and harm aquatic life. There is also the risk that POCs are contaminating groundwater supplies, which threatens our drinking water supply.
Managing waste products is becoming more and more critical. Our growing world population means more products resulting in more waste by-products. These waste by-products come from a variety of sources, including the agricultural and pharmaceutical industries. Together, we can all do more to improve local water quality.
While some POCs can evaporate into the air, those that enter the groundwater system via leaky and/or broken pipes can persist in groundwater supplies for many years, even decades. POCs can contaminate drinking water and surface water when they are:
• Dumped down interior drains and storm drains
• Discarded directly into streams or onto the ground surface
• Flushed down the toilet.
Feel free to use the fact sheet and any other materials on this page in any communication or educational outreach to local residents and business owners.
You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.
~Professor Wangari Maathai
If you have other ideas you’d like to see us address in our MS4 educational tools, please contact us!