Stormwater gathers a variety of pollutants that are mobilized during runoff events. Polluted runoff degrades our lakes, rivers, wetland and other waterways runoff. Transported soil clouds the waterway and interferes with the habitat of fish and plant life.
Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen can promote the overgrowth of algae, deplete oxygen in the waterway and be harmful to other aquatic life. Toxic chemicals from automobiles, sediment from construction activities and careless application of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers threaten the health of the receiving waterway and can kill fish and other aquatic life. Bacteria from animal wastes and illicit connections to sewerage systems can make nearby lakes and bays unsafe for wading, swimming and the propagation of edible shellfish. According to an inventory conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), half of the impaired waterways are affected by urban/suburban and construction sources of stormwater runoff.