Storm runoff can result in a variety of problems, and its causes are just as numerous.
Without first traveling through a natural filtration system, like a wetland, or artificial filtration system, pollutants end up in waterways and damage ecosystems and water quality, according to the EPA. Cars, lawns, pets and other parts of everyday life lead to a major source of pollution for waterways, while impermeable surfaces like streets, buildings and sidewalks lead to increased runoff into storm sewers.
When it rains, or as snow melts the resulting water, known as storm runoff, carries excess litter, soil, fertilizer and other particulates to the nearest storm sewer, which then runs into nearby waterways.
“How would you feel if you knew that you and your neighbors are the biggest source of water pollution in the U.S.?” Seattle Times columnist Terri Bennett writes in her article “You and storm water: A major source of pollution.”
Inspired by Bennett’s article, here’s a look at how you may cause water pollution and how you can fix it: