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Stormwater Quality FAQ

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    What is stormwater runoff?
    Stormwater runoff is rainwater that flows across streets, parking lots, driveways and yards instead of seeping into the ground. It collects into the storm sewer system that consists of inlets, channels, pipes, streets, and creeks. All stormwater remains untreated as it flows into nearby surface waters such as streams, rivers and lakes
    Is water from the storm sewer system treated?
    No. Wastewater from inside homes and businesses is transported by the sanitary sewer system to wastewater treatment facilities. In contrast, the storm sewer system delivers rainwater directly to local waterways without being treated in any way. Because of this, any discharge to the storm sewer system that is not entirely composed of uncontaminated stormwater is considered an illicit discharge.
    Where does local stormwater go?
    • Carter’s Creek
    • Burton Creek
    • Lick Creek
    • Spring Creek
    • Bee Creek
    • Foxfire Creek
    • Alum Creek
    • Wolf Pen Creek
    • White Creek
    • Hopes Creek
    • Harvey Hillsides Creek
    • Navasota River
    • Brazos River
    What is stormwater pollution?
    Pollutants such as sediment, litter, pet waste, fertilizers, automotive fluids, leaves, and yard clippings are picked up and transported by stormwater runoff as it flows during and after a rain event. As stormwater reaches nearby surface waters, these pollutants can damage aquatic habitats, compromise recreational fishing and swimming areas, and even contaminate drinking water supplies.
    Why should I care about stormwater pollution?
    Stormwater pollution can pose serious health risks, not just for plant and animal life, but for humans, as well. For example, pet waste that is carried by stormwater can contain harmful bacteria that people may come in contact with via swimming, fishing, or drinking. Stormwater pollution can also clog waterways, thereby increasing flood risk.
    What are the effects of stormwater pollution?
    • Sediment pollution can damage roads, create unsafe driving conditions, and obstruct streams and creeks. It can also prevent aquatic plant life from developing.

    • Nutrient pollution from fertilizers can create algal blooms that lower dissolved oxygen content in waterways, making it impossible for fish and aquatic plants to survive.

    • Bacteria from pet waste can contaminate waters used for recreation. People or pets that come in contact with contaminated waters can become seriously ill because of viruses and parasites like Giardia, Salmonella, Parvo, and roundworms.

    • Litter such as plastic packaging, bottles, and bags can harm aquatic life such as fish, turtles, and birds.
    How can I help keep our waterways clean?
    • Pick up litter.

    • Only apply fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides when rain is not expected soon.

    • Keep yard clippings and leaves off of sidewalks and streets.

    • Scoop the Poop! Pick up after your pets.

    • Report stormwater pollution.
    Why does the City have a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP)?
    Federal and State law requires certain counties and cities, including the City of College Station, to develop and implement a SWMP.
    What is the purpose of the City’s Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP)?
    The City of College Station’s SWMP is designed to improve the quality of local surface waterways by reducing the quantity of pollutants transported by the storm sewer system. The SWMP implements public outreach and education programs as well as regulatory mechanisms to achieve the goal of cleaner, safer water.
    What are the benefits of stormwater management?
    • Protection of public health

    • Flood mitigation

    • Increased property values along creeks and tributaries

    • Protection of aquatic ecosystems and endangered species such as the Navasota Lady’s Tresses (Spiranthes parksii)

    • Increased tourism and recreational opportunities such as fishing
    How do I report stormwater pollution?
    Please call Planning and Development Services at 979.764.3570 and ask to speak with a an engineer if you see any of the following signs of stormwater pollution:

    • Discolored water or water with an oily sheen

    • Trash, construction material, debris or soap suds entering a storm inlet or drain

    • Sediment-laden stormwater runoff

    You may also report stormwater pollution by sending an email to [email protected].

    Who do I contact to report blockages in drainage ways, such as culverts and bridges?
    Call Planning and Development Services at 979.764.3570 and ask to speak with an engineer, or email [email protected].
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