The Environmental Protection Agency reports that 40% of the nation’s waterways suffer water quality problems. Water systems are often interlinked and the dangers of runoff from agriculture, forestry, construction and people’s personal yards are numerous.
Did you know that a typical city block generates more than five times as much rainwater runoff as a forested area of the same size? This is because rooftops and pavement don’t allow water to soak into the ground like forests, wetlands and grasslands do. Instead, rainwater runs off pavement into the nearest storm drain, where it’s transported to local streams, rivers and eventually the ocean. On its way to the storm drain, rainwater picks up pollutants like oil, antifreeze, pet waste, fertilizers and pesticides. In most places, storm water does not get treated, so all of those pollutants end up in local waters.
Using non-toxic house products, not dumping things other than water down storm drains, and not flushing medication down the toilet or sink are just a few things you can do to keep the water in your area clean.