5 things to know about stormwater pollution

Stock image. Eberhard Grossgasteiger (Pexels)

Seminole County, as well as the seven cities within the county, are charged with managing stormwater runoff through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program.

The goal of this program is to help reduce pollutants from entering the waterways through stormwater runoff.

Why is stormwater important for the community?

Here are five questions regarding stormwater in the area, and why it’s important to be treated properly.


1.) What is stormwater runoff?

Stormwater runoff is rainfall that flows over surfaces that doesn’t allow water to soak into the ground, such as roads, parking lots, driveways and rooftops.

2.) How can stormwater cause pollution?

Fertilizer, dirt, mud, grease or oil that are on the ground can be carried by stormwater into our waterways. These pollutants can harm wildlife and degrade water quality. For example, excessive fertilizer runoff can cause aquatic plants to grow out of control or cause algae blooms that may lead to fish kills.

3.) What is the difference between storm drains and sewer drains?

  • Storm drains route rainwater off the streets, which eventually empties into a stormwater pond, river, ditch or lake.
  • Sewer drains take all household wastewater and route it through a plumbing system and wastewater treatment plant.

4.) What is a stormwater pond?

There are two main types of stormwater ponds, detention ponds and retention ponds. A detention pond has water in it most of the year, with neighborhood lakes being a prominent example. They are designed to reduce flooding and filter polluted stormwater runoff from roads and overfertilized lawns.

A retention pond is often dry, and usually has water in it for a few days after a storm. They are also designed to reduce flooding and filter stormwater runoff.

5.) What is an illegal discharge?

Examples of illegal or illicit discharges include hazardous waste, motor vehicle fluids, grass clippings, leaf litter and animal waste. These items should not be thrown into our stormwater drains or waterways.

For more information about stormwater pollution, click or tap here.